Apolipoprotein D Expression in Human Brain Reactive Astrocytes

Departamento de Morfología y Biología Celular, Facultad de Biología y Medicina, Universidad de Oviedo, España.
Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry (Impact Factor: 1.96). 11/2003; 51(10):1285-90. DOI: 10.1177/002215540305101005
Source: PubMed


Astrocytosis is a hallmark of damage that frequently occurs during aging in human brain. Astrocytes proliferate in elderly subjects, becoming hypertrophic and highly immunoreactive for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). These cells are one type that actively responds in the repair and reorganization of damage to the neural parenchyma and are a source of several peptides and growth factors. One of these biomolecules is apolipoprotein D (apo D), a member of the lipocalin family implicated in the transport of small hydrophobic molecules. Although the role of apo D is unknown, increments in brain apo D expression have been observed in association with aging and with some types of neuropathology. We have found an overexpression of apo D mRNA in reactive astrocytes by in situ hybridization in combination with immunohistochemistry for apo D in normal aged human brains. The number of double-labeled cells varied according to the cerebral area and the gliosis grade. The possible significance of this increased synthesis of apo D in reactive astrocytes is discussed in relation to the role of apo D in aging and in glial function.

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    • "All human brain tissue samples were provided by the Department of Pathologic Anatomy of the Central Hospital of Asturias and obtained from necropsies within 6 h of death. These samples were the same as those used in previous studies by our group [8-10,21]. Twenty-six brainstems from men 32−92 years old were examined. None of the patients presented a previous inner ear or neurological disease. "
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    • "In this way, it has been reported that steroids, such as androgens , estrogens, and glucocorticoids, are very important in the regulation of apo D expression, suggesting that its expression could be directly or indirectly modulated by changes in cellular proliferation [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]. Furthermore, apo D expression is linked to cellular aging in nervous tissue; apo D is abundant in glial cells of aged individuals and in patients with neuronal cell aging disorders [11] [12]. In normal human fibroblast cell lines, apo D is secreted when cells have reached a senescent stage [10]. "
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