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Elevation of cerebral proteases after systemic administration of aluminum


The levels of three proteases in the cerebral cortex of rats following a three week exposure to aluminum, were measured. The activity of apopain (CPP32), an interleukin 1beta converting enzyme (ICE)-like cysteine protease specifically associated with apoptosis, was increased following dosing with aluminum. The activity of calcium-activated neutral protease, calpain, was also increased. However, the enzyme activity of trypsin-like serine protease, known to be elevated by oxidative events, was unchanged. Since aluminum is suspected as a possible factor in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and other neurological diseases, it is speculated that changed levels in proteolytic enzymes may relate to the neurotoxicity of aluminum.

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