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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Orphan C2orf40 Gene is a Neuroimmune Factor in Alzheimer's Disease.

  • Author(s): Podvin, Sonia
  • Miller, Miles C
  • Rossi, Ryan
  • Chukwueke, Jasmine
  • Donahue, John E
  • Johanson, Conrad E
  • Baird, Andrew
  • Stopa, Edward G
  • et al.

Expression of the orphan C2orf40 gene is associated with the aggregation of the neurofibrillary tangle-protein tau in transgenic mice, tumor suppression, the induction of senescence in CNS, and the activation of microglia and peripheral mononuclear leukocytes. This gene also encodes several secreted pro- and anti-inflammatory neuropeptide-like cytokines, suggesting they might be implicated in the inflammatory component(s) of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Accordingly, we evaluated human AD and control brains for expression changes by RT-qPCR, Western blot, and histological changes by immunolabeling. RT-qPCR demonstrated increased cortical gene expression in AD. The molecular form of Ecrg4 detected in cortex was 8-10 kDa, which was shown previously to interact with the innate immunity receptor complex. Immunocytochemical studies showed intensely stained microglia and intravascular blood-borne monocytes within cerebral cortical white matter of AD patients. Staining was diminished within cortical neurons, except for prominent staining in neurofibrillary tangles. Choroid plexuses showed a decreasing trend. These findings support our hypothesis that c2orf40 participates in the neuroimmune response in AD.

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