Induction of Heme Oxygenase‐1 mRNA and Protein in Neocortex and Cerebral Vessels in Alzheimer's Disease

Daniel R.D. Premkumar, Mark A. Smith, Peggy L. Richey, Robert B. Petersen, Rudy Castellani, R. Krishnan Kutty, Barbara Wiggert, George Perry, Rajesh N. Kalaria

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Abstract: Previous studies demonstrated the specific association of heme oxygenase (HO)‐1 protein to the neurofibrillary pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study, we used reverse transcription‐polymerase chain reaction methods to show the increased expression of HO‐1 but not HO‐2 mRNA transcripts in cerebral cortex and cerebral vessels from subjects with AD compared with age‐matched non‐AD controls. Neither the HO‐1 nor the HO‐2 mRNA level was altered in the cerebellum, a brain region usually spared from the pathological alterations of AD. There was no clear evidence that the expression of HO‐1 in these tissues was related to postmortem interval, cause of death, or the age of the subjects studied. Using immunoblotting methods, we further showed that HO‐1 protein content was increased in neocortical and vascular samples from AD subjects compared with controls. Our findings suggest the specific induction of HO‐1 mRNA and protein in the cerebral cortex and cerebral vessels but not HO‐2 mRNA or protein in association with the pathological lesions of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1399-1402
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1995


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid β‐protein
  • Antioxidants
  • Cerebral vessels
  • Heat‐shock proteins
  • Heme oxygenase‐1
  • Heme oxygenase‐2
  • Stress proteins


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