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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1990 Sep 14;171(2):690-6.

Basic fibroblast growth factor in Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Pathology, State University of New York, Syracuse 13210.


We have examined the presence of basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF) in normal and in Alzheimer brains, studied the distribution of the mitogen by immunohistochemical techniques, measured the quantities of growth factor in selected areas of the brain (Brodmann areas 10/11 and 20/21), characterized the molecular forms by Western blotting and determined its sites of synthesis by in situ hybridization. Although the same molecular forms of basic FGF are found in control and Alzheimer brains, basic FGF is increased in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Furthermore, basic FGF is not distributed in an identical fashion to normal and Alzheimer brains, but is found in association with the lesions that characterize this disease. In normal controls (n = 5), basic FGF was found to be widely distributed throughout the three brain regions examined (prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and hypothalamus). Immunoreactivity was observed within astrocytes in both the grey and white matter, as well as within neuronal perikarya. Brain tissues that were obtained from Alzheimer patients (N = 4) showed a substantial increase in the overall specific staining of astrocytes and neurons, particularly in areas of reactive gliosis. Focal concentration of immunoreactive basic FGF was evident within the neuritic plaques, and could be clearly seen in association with the neurofibrillary tangles present within neuronal perikarya. The possibility that basic FGF expression in the CNS is linked to the pathogenesis of the disease is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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