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

Expression of somatostatin receptor subtypes (SSTR1-5) in Alzheimer's disease brain: an immunohistochemical analysis.

Somatostatin, widely distributed in human cortical brain regions, acts through specific high affinity somatostatin receptors (SSTR1-5) to exert profound effects on motor, sensory, behavioral, cognitive and autonomic functions. Somatostatin levels are consistently decreased in the cortex of Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain and in cerebrospinal fluid, and have become reproducible markers of this disease. In the present study, the distributional pattern of SSTR1-5 antigens in the frontal cortex of AD and age-matched control brains was studied using antipeptide polyclonal rabbit antibodies directed against the five human somatostatin receptor subtypes. All five SSTRs were differentially expressed as membrane and cytoplasmic proteins in cortical neurons with significant variations in control vs. AD brain. In AD cortical brain region, somatostatin and neuropeptide-Y-positive neurons decreased (>70%), and glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive astrocytes significantly increased (>130%) in comparison to control brain. SSTR2 and 4 were the predominant subtypes followed by SSTR1, 3 and 5. AD cortex showed a marked reduction in neuronal expression of SSTR4 and 5 and a modest decrease in SSTR2-like immunoreactivity without any changes in SSTR1 immunoreactive neurons. In contrast, SSTR3 was the only receptor subtype that increased in AD cortex. In AD cortex, SSTR1-, 3- and 4-like immunoreactivities were strongly expressed in glial cells but not SSTR2 and 5. These findings suggest the differential loss of immunoreactivity of SSTR2, 4 and 5 but not SSTR1, and increased SSTR3 in frontal cortex of AD brain as well as subtype-selective glial expression in AD brain. In summary, subtype-selective changes in the expression of SSTRs at protein levels in AD cortical regions suggest that somatostatin and SSTR-containing neurons are pathologically involved in AD and could possibly be used as markers of this disease.[1]


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