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Neurobiol Dis. 2003 Mar;12(2):97-109.

Defects in expression of genes related to synaptic vesicle trafficking in frontal cortex of Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy, Center for Aging & Developmental Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Loss of synapses correlates with cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, molecular mechanisms underlying the synaptic dysfunction and loss are not well understood. In this study, microarray analysis of brain tissues from five AD cases revealed a reduced expression of a group of related genes, all of which are involved in synaptic vesicle (SV) trafficking. By contrast, several synaptic genes with functions other than vesicle trafficking remained unchanged. Quantitative RT-PCR confirmed and expanded the microarray findings. Furthermore, immunoblotting showed that the protein level of at least one of these gene products, dynamin I, correlated with its reduced transcript. Immunhistochemical analysis exhibited an altered distribution of dynamin I immunolabeling in AD neurons. Microarray analysis of transgenic mice with mutated amyloid precursor protein showed that although the transcript levels for some of the SV trafficking-related genes are also decreased, the change in dynamin did not replicate the AD pattern. The results suggest a link among SV vesicle-trafficking pathways, synaptic malfunction, and AD pathogenesis.

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