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A novel role for receptor-associated protein in somatostatin modulation: implications for Alzheimer’s disease.

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Receptor-associated protein appears to play an important role in low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein trafficking. Since ligands for the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein have been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease and normal functioning of this protein is indispensable for central nervous system development, deficient receptor-associated protein expression may result in central nervous system alterations.

In this study, receptor-associated protein knockout mice were behaviorally tested and nervous system integrity was assessed via in situ hybridization and immunocytochemical/laser confocal microscopy methods. Receptor-associated protein knockout mice were found to be cognitively impaired in the Morris water maze compared to controls. In wild-type mice, the receptor-associated protein was found to be highly co-expressed with somatostatin in hippocampal and neocortical inhibitory neurons. Receptor-associated protein knockout mice, however, showed a significant decrease in number of somatostatin-expressing neurons of the CA1 region and somatostatin expression within these neurons. The decreased number of somatostatin neurons significantly correlated with cognitive impairment observed in the receptor-associated protein knockout mice.

These results suggest a novel role for receptor-associated protein in modulating the functioning of somatostatin-producing neurons. Furthermore, this has implications for Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis, in which altered regulation of both somatostatin and the known low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein ligands are a consistent finding.

Source: Neuroscience 1999;88(3):687-700

PMID: 10363810, UI: 99290478

(Department of Neurosciences, School of Medicine, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, 92093-0624, USA.)

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