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Nat Neurosci. 2002 Dec;5(12):1288-93.

Role of CD40 ligand in amyloidosis in transgenic Alzheimer's mice.

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  • 1The Roskamp Institute, Department of Psychiatry, University of South Florida, 3515 East Fletcher Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33613, USA.


We have shown that interaction of CD40 with CD40L enables microglial activation in response to amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta), which is associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD)-like neuronal tau hyperphosphorylation in vivo. Here we report that transgenic mice overproducing Abeta, but deficient in CD40L, showed decreased astrocytosis and microgliosis associated with diminished Abeta levels and beta-amyloid plaque load. Furthermore, in the PSAPP transgenic mouse model of AD, a depleting antibody against CD40L caused marked attenuation of Abeta/beta-amyloid pathology, which was associated with decreased amyloidogenic processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and increased circulating levels of Abeta. Conversely, in neuroblastoma cells overexpressing wild-type human APP, the CD40-CD40L interaction resulted in amyloidogenic APP processing. These findings suggest several possible mechanisms underlying mitigation of AD pathology in response to CD40L depletion, and validate the CD40-CD40L interaction as a target for therapeutic intervention in AD.

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