Cerebrospinal fluid changes in the renin-angiotensin system in Alzheimer's disease

Patrick Gavin Kehoe, Noura S K Al Mulhim, Henrik Zetterberg, K Blennow, J S Miners

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Observations in autopsied brain tissue indicate that overactivation of the classical renin-angiotensin system (cRAS) and underactivity within regulatory RAS pathways (rRAS) are associated with pathology in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The primary aim of this study was to investigate whether cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers of RAS are altered in AD in relation to established CSF markers of disease pathology (lower Aβ42 and elevated tau) and CSF markers of capillary dysfunction. We studied 40 controls and 40 AD cases grouped according to a biomarker profile (i.e. AD cases t-tau >400 pg/mL, pTau >60 pg/mL and Aβ42 <550 pg/mL). ACE1 and ACE2 enzyme activity was measured using fluorogenic peptide substrates; sPDGFRβ and albumin level by sandwich ELISA and Angiotensin-I, -II, and 1-7 by direct ELISA. CSF Aβ42, total and phosphorylated tau level was previously measured by INNOTEST sandwich ELISA. CSF ACE1 activity was significantly elevated in AD (p = 0.008) and positively correlated with ACE2 in AD (r = 0.420, p = 0.007). CSF ACE1 weakly correlated with t-tau (r = 0.294, p = 0.066) and p-tau (r = 0.329, p = 0.038) but not with Aβ42 in the controls but not in AD. ACE1 correlated positively with sPDGFRβ (r = 0.426, p = 0.007), a marker of pericyte injury, and ACE2 correlated positively with albumin (r = 0.422, p = 0.008), a marker of blood-brain barrier integrity. CSF angiotensin -I, -II and –(1-7) level was unchanged in AD. This cross-sectional CSF study indicates RAS dysfunction in relation to capillary damage in AD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-535
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2019


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • angiotensin-II
  • angiotensin-(1-7)
  • angiotensin-II converting enyme-1 (ACE1)
  • angiotensin-II converting enyme-2 (ACE2)
  • cerebrospinal fluid


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