Immunoglobulin Genes and Immunity to HSV1 in Alzheimer's Disease

Janardan P. Pandey, Ronald T. Kothera, Shufeng Liu, Andrea Saul Costa, Roberta Mancuso, Simone Agostini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) have identified numerous genes that influence the risk for disease, the majority of the genetic variance of AD remains uncharacterized. Furthermore, current GWAS, despite their name, do not evaluate all genes in the human genome. One such gene complex is immunoglobulin GM (γ marker) genes on chromosome 14. GM genes are excellent candidate genes for AD because they influence immunity to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), which has been implicated in AD pathology by an increasing number of reports. The aim of this investigation was to determine if particular GM genotypes were associated with AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and whether they contributed to the interindividual differences in the level of anti-HSV1 IgG antibodies. A total of 141 HSV1 seropositive individuals - 56 AD patients, 48 MCI individuals, and 37 sex- and age-matched healthy controls - were characterized for GM alleles 3, 17, and 23. The homozygosity for the GM 3 allele was significantly associated with MCI (p=0.025). GM 3/17 heterozygous AD patients had significantly higher levels of anti-HSV1 antibodies than the healthy controls expressing the same genotype (p=0.0004). Among MCI subjects, the GM 3/17 genotype was associated with significantly higher level of anti-HSV1 antibodies as compared to the GM 17/17 homozygous genotype (pc=0.040). Among AD patients, the GM 23+/-genotype was significantly associated with anti-HSV1 antibody responses (pc=0.025). These results suggest that GM genes could act as potential unifiers of the genetic and viral etiology of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)917-924
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jul 1 2019


  • Antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity
  • APOE4
  • Fcγ receptor
  • HSV1
  • Immunoevasion
  • γ marker (GM) allotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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