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Natural Killer Cells and Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Aurélie Le Page
  • Gilles Dupuis
  • Tamàs FülöpEmail author
Living reference work entry

Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an irreversible neurodegenerative disease that affects an increasing number of individuals worldwide. The underlying cause(s) of the late-onset form (LOAD) of the disease is still a matter of intensive investigations. The possibility that infectious organisms are involved in the etiology of AD has been gaining momentum. Furthermore, a wealth of data has suggested the involvement of the immune system in AD. In this context, properties of cells of the innate immune system such as natural killer (NK) cells specialized in destroying virus-infected cells have recently been investigated in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) subjects and patients with a mild form (mAD) of the disease and data compared to healthy elderly individuals. These studies revealed an absence of differences in immune senescence between the three experimental groups. However, there were differential phenotypic changes in aMCI and mAD patients. This was the case of TLR2 and TLR9 (both decreased in AD) and NKG2A (decreased in aMCI). However, functional assays revealed an absence of modification of killing and degranulation activity in the cohort despite increased CD95 receptor, granzyme B expression, and upregulation of TNFα and IFNγ production. Furthermore, decreased chemotactic activity to CCL19 but not to CCL21 was observed in aMCI and mAD patients. Increased CD16 expression was observed in mAD patients. The bulk of these data suggested that NK cells of aMCI subjects were in a state of activation state in response of an as-yet-unidentified challenge.

Keywords

Natural killer cells Alzheimer’s disease 

List of Abbreviations

AD

Alzheimer’s disease

ADCC

Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity

BBB

Blood-brain barrier

CD

Cluster of differentiation

CNS

Central nervous system

EOAD

Early onset of Alzheimer’s disease

IFN

Interferon

KIR

Killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor

LOAD

Late onset of Alzheimer’s disease

MHC

Major histocompatibility complex

NK

Natural killer

TLR

Toll-like receptor

TNF

Tumor necrosis factor

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aurélie Le Page
    • 1
  • Gilles Dupuis
    • 2
  • Tamàs Fülöp
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Research Center of Aging, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversity of SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Graduate Program in Immunology, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversity of SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada

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