Postsynaptic damage and microglial activation in AD patients could be linked CXCR4/CXCL12 expression levels

Cristina Sanfilippo, Paola Castrogiovanni, Rosa Imbesi, Giuseppe Nunnari, Michelino Di Rosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is one of the most common forms of dementia with still unknown pathogenesis. Several cytokines and chemokines are involved in the pathogenesis of AD. Among the chemokines, the CXCR4/CXCL12 complex has been shown to play an important role in the pathogenetic development of AD. We investigated the expression levels of CXCR4 / CXCL12 in fifteen brain regions of healthy non-demented subjects (NDHC) (2139 sample) and AD patients (1170 sample) stratified according to sex and age. Furthermore, we correlated their expressions with the Neurogranin (NRGN) and CHI3L1 levels, two inflamm-aging markers. We highlighted that CXCR4 gene expression levels were age-correlated in the brain of NDHC subjects and that AD nullified this correlation. A similar trend, but diametrically opposite was observed for CXCL12. Its expression was decreased during the aging in both sexes, and in the brains of AD patients, it underwent an inversion of the trend, only and exclusively in females. Brains of AD patients expressed high CXCR4 and CHI3L1, and low CXCL12 and Neurogranin levels compared to NDHC subjects. Both CXCR4 and CXCL12 correlated significantly with CHI3L1 and Neurogranin expression levels, regardless of disease. Furthermore, we showed a selective modulation of CXCL12 and CXCR4 only in specific brain regions. Taken together our results demonstrate that CXCL12 and CXCR4 are linked to Neurogranin and CHI3L1 expression levels and the relationship between postsynaptic damage and microglial activation in AD could be shown using all these genes. Further confirmations are needed to demonstrate the close link between these genes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number147127
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2020


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Bioinformatics
  • CHI3L1
  • Chitinase
  • NRGN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Postsynaptic damage and microglial activation in AD patients could be linked CXCR4/CXCL12 expression levels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this