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Exp Neurol. 1998 Dec;154(2):511-21.

Clusterin (apolipoprotein J) protein levels are increased in hippocampus and in frontal cortex in Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Göteborg University, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, M olndal, Sweden.


We studied the multifunctional protein clusterin (apolipoprotein J, SGP-2, SP-40,40) in brain tissue using quantitative Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. The material included postmortem brains from 19 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 6 with vascular dementia (VAD), and 7 age-matched control subjects. Intense clusterin staining was found in the soma of both neuronal and astroglial cells. In addition, positive staining was found in a portion of senile plaques (SP) in AD brains. Quantitative analysis showed that clusterin levels were significantly increased in AD, both in frontal cortex (150% of the control value, P = 0.002) and in the hippocampus (179% of the control value, P < 0.001), while normal clusterin levels were found in cerebellum (104% of the control value). No significant changes were found in VAD. Within the AD group, there was a significant negative correlation between clusterin levels in hippocampus and severity of dementia (r = -0.40), while no such correlation was found in frontal cortex (r = 0.12). No significant correlations were found between clusterin levels and the number of SP or neurofibrillary tangles. No significant differences in clusterin levels were found in any brain region between AD patients possessing different numbers of the ApoE4 allele. The increased clusterin levels in AD brain, together with the absence of a correlation between SP counts and clusterin levels, and the finding that clusterin is only found in a smaller portion of SP do not suggest a link between clusterin and beta-amyloid dependence. Instead we hypothesize that the increase is part of a regional response in AD brain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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