Increased lymphocyte dopamine β-hydroxylase immunoreactivity in Alzheimer's disease: Compensatory response to cholinergic deficit?

Franco Giubilei, Caterina Calderaro, Giovanni Antonini, Micaela Sepe-Monti, Paolo Tisei, Ercole Brunetti, Francesca Marchione, Brunella Caronti, Francesco E. Pontieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is growing interest in the characterization of peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) as a biological tool with which to investigate changes in the neurotransmitter-receptor system in neurodegenerative disorders. Here we show a slight decrease in acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and a significant increase in dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH) immunoreactivity in the PBL of patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD). Therapy with AChE inhibitors completely reversed the increase in DBH immunoreactivity. We hypothesize that the increase in DBH immunoreactivity may represent a compensatory response to cholinergic impairment. Our findings suggest that neurochemical interactions between the noradrenergic and cholinergic systems may be measured at a peripheral level in AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-341
Number of pages4
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Volume18
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dopamine β-hydroxylase
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Peripheral blood lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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