Plasminogen and plasmin in Alzheimer's disease

Rachel Barker, Seth Love, Patrick G Kehoe

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

29 Citations (Scopus)


In Alzheimer's disease, abnormal accumulation of Aβ leads to neuronal death and impaired Aβ degradation may play an important role in this accumulation. Plasmin is the key active protease in the plasminogen system and is capable of cleaving Aβ. Here we investigate plasminogen mRNA levels, plasminogen and plasmin protein levels and plasmin activity levels in post-mortem AD and control brain tissue. Plasminogen and plasmin distribution in the human brain was demonstrated by immunoperoxidase staining. Plasminogen mRNA levels were measured in 20 AD, 20 control and 15 Vascular dementia (VaD) brains by real-time PCR (RT-PCR). In an expanded cohort of 38 AD and 38 control brains plasminogen and plasmin protein levels were measured by dot blot and Western blot, respectively, while plasmin activity levels were measured by fluorogenic assay. Plasminogen and plasmin were present mainly in the neurons. Plasminogen mRNA levels were unaltered in the AD or VaD groups compared to the controls. Plasminogen and plasmin protein levels were not significantly altered in AD compared to controls. Plasmin activity was reduced in AD but this did not reach statistical significance. In contrast to some studies these data do not support the involvement of plasmin in the abnormal accumulation of Aβ in AD.
Translated title of the contributionPlasminogen and plasmin in Alzheimer's disease
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

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Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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