Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Abstract: Lysosomal hydrolases are normally intracellular enzymes but are abundant extracellularly within senile plaques in Alzheimer disease and in other conditions where β-amyloid accumulates. To examine whether acid hydrolases released from abnormal hydrolase-laden neurons are detectable in CSF, we measured levels of the major aspartic proteinase of lysosomes, cathepsin D (Cat D), in ventricular CSF collected after death from 30 patients with Alzheimer disease, 14 patients with Huntington disease, and seven patients with other neurodegenerative diseases. The levels of Cat D-immunoreactive protein, expressed as micrograms per milliliter of protein, determined by western blot immunoassay using a polyclonal antiserum against human brain Cat D, were more than fourfold higher in the Alzheimer patients than in the other patient groups (p 〈 0.0005). Cat D activity, assayed separately against [14C]methemoglobin at pH 3.2, was also significantly elevated but less than Cat D content. The lower specific activity of Cat D in Alzheimer CSF therefore indicated that the abnormally accumulated Cat D included a high proportion of inactive enzyme. These results indicate that abnormal Cat D release from affected neurons into the extracellular space is an active, ongoing process in Alzheimer brain. In addition, the levels of this enzyme and possibly other lysosomal hydrolases in CSF may prove to be useful biological markers of Alzheimer disease.
Type of Medium: