We measured, by employing a quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR procedure, the relative (to β-actin) levels of amyloid precursor protein APP751 and APP770 mRNA isoforms in lymphocytes obtained from 64 cognitively intact subjects ranging in ages from 20 to 91 years and in 19 patients with sporadic Alzheimer's disease. A positive correlation was observed between the relative lymphocyte APP751 mRNA levels and subject age for the cognitively intact cohort. No difference in lymphocyte APP751 mRNA levels was observed between Alzheimer's disease patients and their age-matched controls (> 55 years of age). However, the ratio of lymphocyte APP751:APP770 mRNA levels was significantly lower in Alzheimer's disease subjects compared to the > 55-year-old cohort. This decreased ratio is most likely due to an average 31% increase in the lymphocyte APP770 isoform in Alzheimer's disease patients compared to 12% in the > 55-year-old cognitively intact group. Marked individual differences in amount of APP mRNA isoforms were encountered among all the subject groups and in the ≤ 55-year-old cohort, a 10-fold variation in individual APP751 mRNA levels was observed. The relevance of these findings in lymphocytes to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease is discussed.
- Alternative splicing
- Alzheimer's disease
- Amyloid precursor protein
- Amyloid precursor protein mRNA
- Reverse-transcriptase PCR