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Exp Neurol. 2007 Apr;204(2):525-40. Epub 2007 Jan 13.

Differential expression of cathepsin X in aging and pathological central nervous system of mice.

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Department of Animal Physiology, Ruhr-University of Bochum, D-44780 Bochum, Germany.


Increasing evidence of a fundamental influence of cathepsins on inflammation has drawn interest in a thorough understanding of their role in physiological and pathological processes. Even though the number of identified cathepsins has more than doubled in the last years, information about their expression, regulation and function in the brain is still incomplete. In the present study we analyzed the regional, cellular and subcellular localization and the activity of the recently discovered cathepsin X in the normal, developing and pathological mouse brain. Our results show that CATX is: (i) is expressed in almost all cells in the mouse brain with a preference for glial cells; (ii) already widely expressed early in development and age-dependently upregulated in amount and activity; (iii) prominently localized in the lysosomal system but also scattered in the somal cytoplasm in the aged brain; (iv) upregulated in numerous glial cells of degenerating brain regions in a transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; and (v) associated with plaques in a transgenic mouse model and in Alzheimer patients. These results strongly suggest that cathepsin X is an important player in degenerative processes during normal aging and in pathological conditions.

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