, Volume 105, Issue 8-9, pp 949-960

Neuronal expression of cycline dependent kinase inhibitors of the INK4 family in Alzheimer's disease

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Neurodegeneration and cell death in Alzheimer's disease might be associated with aberrant proliferative mechanisms and activation of cell-cycle related events. We reported previously on the elevated expression of the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor p16INK4a in Alzheimer's disease closely associated with neurofibrillary degeneration. In the present study, we demonstrate that other members of the INK4-family of cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors such as p15INK4b, p18INK4c and p19INK4d that bind directly to cdk4/6 or to complexes of cdk4/6 with D-type cyclins are all elevated. In contrast, no indication of altered expression of the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors p21Cip1 and p27Kip1 were observed. Inhibitors of the INK4-family were strongly expressed in tangle-bearing neurones and neuritic components of plaques. A much lower expression was also seen in astrocytes. These findings add further evidence to the suggestion that a dysfunction of cell cycle regulation is of critical importance in the pathomechanism of Alzheimer's disease.

Accepted January 28, 1998; received January 13, 1998