Quantitation of BDNF mRNA in human parietal cortex by competitive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction: decreased levels in Alzheimer's disease
- Additional Document Info
- View All
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system. One pathological characteristic is excessive neuronal loss in specific regions of the brain. Among the areas most severely affected are the basal forebrain cholinergic neurons and their projection regions, the hippocampus and cortex. Neurotrophic factors, particularly the neurotrophins nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor, play an important role in the development, regulation and survival of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons. Furthermore, brain-derived neurotrophic factor regulates the function of hippocampal and cortical neurons. Neurotrophins are synthesized in hippocampus and cortex and retrogradely transported to the basal forebrain. Decreased levels of neurotrophic factors are suspected to be involved in the neurodegenerative changes observed in Alzheimer's disease. We examined autopsied parietal cortex samples from age- and gender-matched Alzheimer's diseased and neurologically non-impaired individuals using the quantitative technique of competitive RT-PCR. We demonstrate a 3.4-fold decrease in brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA levels in the parietal cortex of patients with Alzheimer's disease compared to controls (p<0.004). A decrease in brain-derived neurotrophic factor synthesis could have detrimental effects on hippocampal, cortical and basal forebrain cholinergic neurons and may account for their selective vulnerability in Alzheimer's disease.
has subject area