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Brain Res. 1995 Oct 16;695(2):137-45.

Fas antigen expression in brains of patients with Alzheimer-type dementia.

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Department of Psychiatry, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Japan.


Fas antigen (CD95) is a cell surface protein that mediates apoptosis. We have investigated the immunohistochemical localization of Fas antigen in postmortem brain tissue from control subjects, patients with Alzheimer-type dementia (ATD), and from a few patients with diffuse Lewy body disease, progressive supranuclear palsy and adrenoleukodystrophy. In all brains, including controls, vascular endothelial cells and residual blood plasma were weakly stained. In ATD brains, senile plaques and a small number of star-like cells were brains of patients with neurological diseases other than ATD. In double immunostaining for Fas and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), a small number of cells were positive for both antigens. The majority of Fas-positive astrocytes were, however, negative for GFAP. This implies the downregulation of GFAP production in these cells. Doubly labeled astrocytes were also found around senile plaques, suggesting that the Fas immunoreactivity in senile plaques was derived from astrocytic membranes. The results of this study indicate that Fas antigen is expressed by a subset of reactive astrocytes in degenerative neurological diseases. Such astrocytes may undergo the Fas-mediated apoptotic process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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