Results of a high-resolution genome screen of 437 Alzheimer's disease families.
ABSTRACT Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder of late life with complex inheritance. Mutations in three known genes lead to the rare early-onset autosomal dominant form of AD, while a common polymorphism (epsilon 4) in the gene encoding apolipoprotein E (APOE ) is a risk factor for more typical late-onset (>60 years) AD. A recent study concluded that there are up to four additional genes with an equal or greater contribution to the disease. We performed a 9 cM genome screen of 437 families with AD, the full National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) sample, which has been carefully ascertained, evaluated and followed by our group over the last decade. Performing standard parametric and non-parametric linkage analyses, we observed a 'highly significant' linkage peak by Lander and Kruglyak criteria on chromosome 19q13, which probably represents APOE. Twelve additional locations-on 1q23, 3p26, 4q32, 5p14, 6p21, 6q27, 9q22, 10q24, 11q25, 14q22, 15q26 and 21q22-met criteria for 'suggestive' linkage [i.e. two-point lod score (TLS) >/=1.9 and/or multipoint lod score (MLS) >/=2.2] in at least one of our analyses. Although some of these will surely prove to be false positives, these linkage signals should provide a valuable framework for future studies aimed at identifying additional susceptibility genes for late-onset AD.
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ABSTRACT: The hypothesis that polymorphisms in the gene for nicastrin (NCSTN) are associated with differences in cognitive level and ageing was tested in 462 relatively healthy surviving participants of the Scottish Mental Survey 1932. None had a history of dementia. They were tested on the Moray House Test of verbal reasoning at age 11 in 1932 and at age 79 between 1999 and 2001. At age 79 they also took tests of non-verbal reasoning, short- and long-term verbal declarative memory, Verbal Fluency, and a short screening test for dementia. Subjects who possessed at least one copy of the NCSTN B haplotype (Hap B) had higher scores on the Moray House Test (a test principally of verbal reasoning) at age 11 (p=0.036) and age 79 (p=0.027). The effect of Hap B on cognition at age 79 was non-significant after adjusting for the effect at age 11. Therefore, the effect of Hap B in this sample is on the life-long stable trait of cognitive ability, and not on age-related cognitive change. The possibility that this result might be a selection effect was not supported by the samples being in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium with respect to the distribution of NCSTN genotypes.Neuroscience Letters 02/2005; 373(2):110-4. · 2.11 Impact Factor
Article: Are circulating monocytes as microglia orthologues appropriate biomarker targets for neuronal diseases?[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Microglial cells, in contrast to other central nervous system cell types such as neurons and macroglia, are of myeloid origin. They constitute the immune cells of the brain and are involved in neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative processes. Moreover, diseases of the central nervous system with an inflammatory component are characterized by the migration of bone marrow-derived monocytes into the brain where they differentiate into microglia, the "tissue macrophages" of the nervous system, bearing a therapeutic potential for certain diseases by transplantation of bone marrow-derived hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Due to their common origin, microglial cells and monocytes/macrophages share expression of many surface receptors and signalling proteins. Moreover, there is overlap in the expression of many genes related to Alzheimer s disease. Activation of resident and blood-derived microglia in diseases of the central nervous system can be both beneficial, e.g. by degradation of protein aggregates, and detrimental, e.g. by secretion of neurotoxic factors. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the role of microglia in neurodegenerative diseases with a focus on Alzheimer s disease. Moreover, we present data how neuroinflammation is reflected by cellular changes in peripheral blood enabling the use of blood monocytes/macrophages for diagnosis, therapeutic target finding and outcome monitoring of neurodegenerative disorders. In summary, blood monocytes as microglia orthologues are an important model system to study the role of microglia in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. They are suitable biomarker targets for diagnosis and prognosis and maybe also therapy of central nervous system disease.Central Nervous System Agents in Medicinal Chemistry(Formerly Current Medicinal Chemistry - Central Nervous System Agents) 12/2009; 9(4):307-30.
Article: Alzheimer's disease risk factor lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase regulates long-term synaptic strengthening, spatial learning and memory.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase (Lck), which belongs to the Src kinase-family, is expressed in neurons of the hippocampus, a structure critical for learning and memory. Recent evidence demonstrated a significant downregulation of Lck in Alzheimer's disease. Lck has additionally been proposed to be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, thus suggesting the involvement of Lck in memory function. The neuronal role of Lck, however, and its involvement in learning and memory remain largely unexplored. Here, in vitro electrophysiology, confocal microscopy, and molecular, pharmacological, genetic and biochemical techniques were combined with in vivo behavioral approaches to examine the role of Lck in the mouse hippocampus. Specific pharmacological inhibition and genetic silencing indicated the involvement of Lck in the regulation of neuritic outgrowth. In the functional pre-established synaptic networks that were examined electrophysiologically, specific Lck-inhibition also selectively impaired the long-term hippocampal synaptic plasticity without affecting spontaneous excitatory synaptic transmission or short-term synaptic potentiation. The selective inhibition of Lck also significantly altered hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory in vivo. These data provide the basis for the functional characterization of brain Lck, describing the importance of Lck as a critical regulator of both neuronal morphology and in vivo long-term memory.Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 09/2012; · 6.57 Impact Factor