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J Neuroimmunol. 2004 Feb;147(1-2):50-5.

Microglial activation by uptake of fDNA via a scavenger receptor.

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Department of Geriatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA.


The fate of the fragmented DNA (fDNA) observed in neuronal nuclei in Alzheimer brain is unknown. However, its fate is suggested as fDNA is found in the cytoplasm of adjacent activated microglia. After a brief incubation with fDNA, approximately 70% of microglia had fDNA in their cytoplasm, were activated, and overexpressed interleukin-1beta. Microglial activation enhanced uptake whereas blocking scavenger receptors suppressed this uptake. These results suggest that the brain rids itself of fDNA from dying neurons through microglial uptake, activation, and overexpression of IL-1. Such overexpression of IL-1 in Alzheimer brain has been linked to Alzheimer pathogenesis.

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