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Neurobiol Aging. 1993 Mar-Apr;14(2):177-85.

Intracellular calcium response is reduced in CD4+ lymphocytes in Alzheimer's disease and in older persons with Down's syndrome.

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Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


Abnormalities in intracellular free calcium ([Ca2+]i) regulation are likely to play a role in brain aging and have been described in cells from patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). [Ca2+]i acts as a second messenger in transmembrane signaling and regulates diverse functions in many cell types. Therefore, abnormalities in [Ca2+]i response may have far-ranging effects. Using flow cytometric assay for [Ca2+]i, we examined whether mitogen-induced increases in [Ca2+]i are abnormal in CD4+ T-lymphocytes from patients with familial AD (FAD), other AD, and Down's syndrome (DS) compared to age-matched controls. We observed that the peak [Ca2+]i responses were significantly decreased in CD4+ cells from 6 FAD patients (59% of control), 34 other AD patients (69% of age-matched control), and 6 older persons with DS (> 25 years old, 47% of control), after stimulation with 10 micrograms/ml anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody (mAb). The number of CD3 receptors on T lymphocytes of the AD patients was not decreased. In contrast, lymphocytes from subjects with FAD, other AD and older DS patients had no decrease in response to phytohemagglutinin (30 micrograms/ml). CD3 and related classes of membrane receptors are present on many cells of the central nervous system. Therefore, receptor signaling defects via this receptor in T lymphocytes of AD patients may be relevant to the central nervous system pathology seen in AD and DS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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