Plasmin system of Alzheimer's disease patients: CSF analysis

Alessandro Martorana, Giulia M. Sancesario, Zaira Esposito, Marzia Nuccetelli, Roberto Sorge, Amanda Formosa, Vincenzo Dinallo, Giorgio Bernardi, Sergio Bernardini, Giuseppe Sancesario

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a multifactorial neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the extracellular deposit of Amyloid beta (Aβ), mainly of the Amyloid beta 1-42 (Aβ 1-42) peptide in the hippocampus and neocortex leading to progressive cognitive decline and dementia. The possible imbalance between the Aβ production/degradation process was suggested to contribute to the pathogenesis of AD. Among others, the serine protease plasmin has shown to be involved in Aβ 1-42 clearance, a hypothesis strengthened by neuropathological studies on AD brains. To explore whether there is a change in plasmin system in CSF of AD patients, we analyzed CSF samples from AD and age-matched controls, looking at plasminogen, tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) and plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) protein levels and t-PA and urokinase plasminogen activator (u-PA) enzymatic activities. We also measured Aβ 1-42, total-tau and phospho-tau 181 CSF levels and sought for a possible relationship between them and plasmin system values. Our findings showed that t-PA, plasminogen and PAI-1 levels, as t-PA enzymatic activity, remained unchanged in AD with respect to controls; u-PA activity was not detected. We conclude that CSF analysis of plasminogen system does not reflect changes observed post-mortem. Unfortunately, the CSF detection of plasmin system could not be a useful biomarker for either AD diagnosis or disease progression. However, these findings do not exclude the possible involvement of the plasmin system in AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-769
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid β
  • CSF
  • Plasmin
  • T-PA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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