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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Decreased brain levels of 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide-3'-phosphodiesterase in Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease.

In Down syndrome (DS) as well as in Alzheimer's disease (AD) oligodendroglial and myelin alterations have been reported. 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide-3'-phosphodiesterase (CNPase) and carbonic anhydrase II (CA II) are widely accepted as markers for oligodendroglia and myelin. However, only data on CNPase activity have been available in AD and DS brains so far. In our study we determined the protein levels of CNPase and CA II in DS, AD and in control post mortem brain samples in order to assess oligodendroglia and myelin alterations in both diseases. We used two dimensional electrophoresis to separate brain proteins that were subsequently identified by matrix assisted laser desorption and ionization mass-spectroscopy (MALDI-MS). Seven brain areas were investigated (frontal, temporal, occipital and parietal cortex, cerebellum, thalamus and caudate nucleus). In comparison to control brains we detected significantly decreased CNPase protein levels in frontal and temporal cortex of DS patients. The level of CA II protein in DS was unchanged in comparison to controls. In AD brains levels of CNPase were decreased in frontal cortex only. The level of CA II in all brain areas in AD group was comparable to controls. Changes of CNPase protein levels in DS and AD are in agreement with the previous finding of decreased CNPase activity in DS and AD brain. They probably reflect decreased oligodendroglial density and/or reduced myelination. These can be secondary to disturbances in axon/oligodendroglial communication due to neuronal loss present in both diseases. Alternatively, reduced CNPase levels in DS brains may be caused by impairment of glucose metabolism and/or alterations of thyroid functions.[1]


  1. Decreased brain levels of 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide-3'-phosphodiesterase in Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. Vlkolinský, R., Cairns, N., Fountoulakis, M., Lubec, G. Neurobiol. Aging (2001) [Pubmed]
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