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author:("Ravid, rivkah")
1.  Evidence for an association between KIBRA and late-onset Alzheimer’s disease 
Neurobiology of aging  2008;31(6):901-909.
We recently reported evidence for an association between the individual variation in normal human episodic memory and a common variant of the KIBRA gene, KIBRA rs17070145 (T-allele). Since memory impairment is a cardinal clinical feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), we investigated the possibility of an association between the KIBRA gene and AD using data from neuronal gene expression, brain imaging studies, and genetic association tests. KIBRA was significantly over-expressed and 3 of its 4 known binding partners under-expressed in AD-affected hippocampal, posterior cingulate and temporal cortex regions (p<0.010, corrected) in a study of laser capture microdissected neurons. Using positron emission tomography in a cohort of cognitively normal, late-middle-aged persons genotyped for KIBRA rs17070145, KIBRA T non-carriers exhibited lower glucose metabolism than did carriers in posterior cingulate and precuneus brain regions (P<0.001, uncorrected). Lastly, non-carriers of the KIBRA rs17070145 T-allele had increased risk of late-onset AD in an association study of 702 neuropathologically verified expired subjects (p=0.034; OR=1.29) and in a combined analysis of 1026 additional living and expired subjects (p=0.039; OR=1.26). Our findings suggest that KIBRA is associated with both individual variation in normal episodic memory and predisposition to AD.
doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2008.07.014
PMCID: PMC2913703  PMID: 18789830
genetics; imaging; expression profiling; memory
2.  Heparan Sulfate Accumulation with Aβ Deposits in Alzheimer's Disease and Tg2576 Mice is Contributed by Glial Cells 
Amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) plaques, one of the major neuropathological lesions in Alzheimer's disease (AD), can be broadly subdivided into two morphological categories: neuritic and diffuse. Heparan sulfate (HS) and HS proteoglycans (HSPGs) are codeposits of multiple amyloidoses, including AD. Although HS has been considered a limiting factor in the initiation of amyloid deposition, the pathological implications of HS in Aβ deposits of AD remain unclear. In this study, immunohistochemistry combined with fluorescence and confocal microscopy was employed to gain deeper insight into the accumulation of HS with Aβ plaques in sporadic and familial AD. Here we demonstrate that HS preferentially accumulated around the Aβ40 dense cores of neuritic plaques, but was largely absent from diffuse Aβ42 plaques, suggesting that Aβ42 deposition may occur independently of HS. A codeposition pattern of HS with Aβ deposits in Tg2576 mice was also examined. We identified the membrane-bound HSPGs, glypican-1 (GPC1) and syndecan-3 (SDC3), in glial cells associated with Aβ deposits, proximal to sites of HS accumulation. In mouse primary glial cultures, we observed increased levels of GPC1 and SDC3 following Aβ stimulation. These results suggest that HS codeposits with Aβ40 in neuritic plaques and is mainly derived from glial cells.
doi:10.1111/j.1750-3639.2008.00152.x
PMCID: PMC2856073  PMID: 18422760
b-Amyloid; glial cells; heparan sulfate
3.  ZnT3 mRNA levels are reduced in Alzheimer's disease post-mortem brain 
Background
ZnT3 is a membrane Zn2+ transporter that is responsible for concentrating Zn2+ into neuronal presynaptic vesicles. Zn2+ homeostasis in the brain is relevant to Alzheimer's disease (AD) because Zn2+ released during neurotransmission may bind to Aβ peptides, accelerating the assembly of Aβ into oligomers which have been shown to impair synaptic function.
Results
We quantified ZnT3 mRNA levels in Braak-staged human post mortem (pm) brain tissue from medial temporal gyrus, superior occipital gyrus, superior parietal gyrus, superior frontal gyrus and cerebellum from individuals with AD (n = 28), and matched controls (n = 5) using quantitative real-time PCR. ZnT3 mRNA levels were significantly decreased in all four cortical regions examined in the AD patients, to 45-60% of control levels. This reduction was already apparent at Braak stage 4 in most cortical regions examined. Quantification of neuronal and glial-specific markers in the same samples (neuron-specific enolase, NSE; and glial fibrillary acidic protein, GFAP) indicated that loss of cortical ZnT3 expression was more pronounced, and occurred prior to, significant loss of NSE expression in the tissue. Significant increases in cortical GFAP expression were apparent as the disease progressed. No gene expression changes were observed in the cerebellum, which is relatively spared of AD neuropathology.
Conclusions
This first study to quantify ZnT3 mRNA levels in human pm brain tissue from individuals with AD and controls has revealed a significant loss of ZnT3 expression in cortical regions, suggesting that neuronal cells in particular show reduced expression of ZnT3 mRNA in the disease. This suggests that altered neuronal Zn2+ handling may be an early event in AD pathogenesis.
doi:10.1186/1750-1326-4-53
PMCID: PMC2806356  PMID: 20030848
4.  Comprehensive mRNA Expression Profiling Distinguishes Tauopathies and Identifies Shared Molecular Pathways 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(8):e6826.
Background
Understanding the aetiologies of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Pick's disease (PiD), Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) and Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is often hampered by the considerable clinical and molecular overlap between these diseases and normal ageing. The development of high throughput genomic technologies such as microarrays provide a new molecular tool to gain insight in the complexity and relationships between diseases, as they provide data on the simultaneous activity of multiple genes, gene networks and cellular pathways.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We have constructed genome wide expression profiles from snap frozen post-mortem tissue from the medial temporal lobe of patients with four neurodegenerative disorders (5 AD, 5 PSP, 5 PiD and 5 FTD patients) and 5 control subjects. All patients were matched for age, gender, ApoE-ε and MAPT (tau) haplotype. From all groups a total of 790 probes were shown to be differently expressed when compared to control individuals. The results from these experiments were then used to investigate the correlations between clinical, pathological and molecular findings. From the 790 identified probes we extracted a gene set of 166 probes whose expression could discriminate between these disorders and normal ageing.
Conclusions/Significance
From genome wide expression profiles we extracted a gene set of 166 probes whose expression could discriminate between neurological disorders and normal ageing. This gene set can be further developed into an accurate microarray-based classification test. Furthermore, from this dataset we extracted a disease specific set of genes and identified two aging related transcription factors (FOXO1A and FOXO3A) as possible drug targets related to neurodegenerative disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006826
PMCID: PMC2729393  PMID: 19714246
5.  Whole genome association analysis shows that ACE is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and fails to replicate most candidates from Meta-analysis 
For late onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD), the only confirmed, genetic association is with the apolipoprotein E (APOE) locus on chromosome 19. Meta-analysis is often employed to sort the true associations from the false positives. LOAD research has the advantage of a continuously updated meta-analysis of candidate gene association studies in the web-based AlzGene database. The top 30 AlzGene loci on May 1st, 2007 were investigated in our whole genome association data set consisting of 1411 LOAD cases and neuropathoiogicaiiy verified controls genotyped at 312,316 SNPs using the Affymetrix 500K Mapping Platform. Of the 30 “top AlzGenes", 32 SNPs in 24 genes had odds ratios (OR) whose 95% confidence intervals that did not include 1. Of these 32 SNPs, six were part of the Affymetrix 500K Mapping panel and another ten had proxies on the Affymetrix array that had >80% power to detect an association with α=0.001. Two of these 16 SNPs showed significant association with LOAD in our sample series. One was rs4420638 at the APOE locus (uncorrected p-value=4.58E-37) and the other was rs4293, located in the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) locus (uncorrected p-value=0.014). Since this result was nominally significant, but did not survive multiple testing correction for 16 independent tests, this association at rs4293 was verified in a geographically distinct German cohort (p-value=0.03). We present the results of our ACE replication aiongwith a discussion of the statistical limitations of multiple test corrections in whole genome studies.
PMCID: PMC3076748  PMID: 21537449
Late-onset Alzheimer disease; single nucleotide polymorphism; genome-wide association study; meta-analysis; ACE
6.  GAB2 Alleles Modify Alzheimer’s Risk in APOE ε4 Carriers 
Neuron  2007;54(5):713-720.
SUMMARY
The apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele is the best established genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD). We conducted genome-wide surveys of 502,627 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to characterize and confirm other LOAD susceptibility genes. In ε4 carriers from neuropathologically verified discovery, neuropathologically verified replication, and clinically characterized replication cohorts of 1411 cases and controls, LOAD was associated with six SNPs from the GRB-associated binding protein 2 (GAB2) gene and a common haplotype encompassing the entire GAB2 gene. SNP rs2373115 (p = 9 × 10−11) was associated with an odds ratio of 4.06 (confidence interval 2.81–14.69), which interacts with APOE ε4 to further modify risk. GAB2 was overexpressed in pathologically vulnerable neurons; the Gab2 protein was detected in neurons, tangle-bearing neurons, and dystrophic neuritis; and interference with GAB2 gene expression increased tau phosphorylation. Our findings suggest that GAB2 modifies LOAD risk in APOE ε4 carriers and influences Alzheimer’s neuropathology.
doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2007.05.022
PMCID: PMC2587162  PMID: 17553421
7.  Identification of valid reference genes for the normalization of RT qPCR gene expression data in human brain tissue 
Background
Studies of gene expression in post mortem human brain can contribute to understanding of the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Quantitative real-time PCR (RT qPCR) is often used to analyse gene expression. The validity of results obtained using RT qPCR is reliant on accurate data normalization. Reference genes are generally used to normalize RT qPCR data. Given that expression of some commonly used reference genes is altered in certain conditions, this study aimed to establish which reference genes were stably expressed in post mortem brain tissue from individuals with AD, PD or DLB.
Results
The present study investigated the expression stability of 8 candidate reference genes, (ubiquitin C [UBC], tyrosine-3-monooxygenase [YWHAZ], RNA polymerase II polypeptide [RP II], hydroxymethylbilane synthase [HMBS], TATA box binding protein [TBP], β-2-microglobulin [B2M], glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase [GAPDH], and succinate dehydrogenase complex-subunit A, [SDHA]) in cerebellum and medial temporal gyrus of 6 AD, 6 PD, 6 DLB subjects, along with 5 matched controls using RT qPCR (TaqMan® Gene Expression Assays). Gene expression stability was analysed using geNorm to rank the candidate genes in order of decreasing stability in each disease group. The optimal number of genes recommended for accurate data normalization in each disease state was determined by pairwise variation analysis.
Conclusion
This study identified validated sets of mRNAs which would be appropriate for the normalization of RT qPCR data when studying gene expression in brain tissue of AD, PD, DLB and control subjects.
doi:10.1186/1471-2199-9-46
PMCID: PMC2396658  PMID: 18460208
8.  Clonal Expansions of Cd8+ T Cells Dominate the T Cell Infiltrate in Active Multiple Sclerosis Lesions as Shown by Micromanipulation and Single Cell Polymerase Chain Reaction 
Clonal composition and T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells infiltrating actively demyelinating multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions were determined with unprecedented resolution at the level of single cells. Individual CD4+ or CD8+ T cells were isolated from frozen sections of lesional tissue by micromanipulation and subjected to single target amplification of TCR-β gene rearrangements. This strategy allows the assignment of a TCR variable region (V region) sequence to the particular T cell from which it was amplified. Sequence analysis revealed that in both cases investigated, the majority of CD8+ T cells belonged to few clones. One of these clones accounted for 35% of CD8+ T cells in case 1. V region sequence comparison revealed signs of selection for common peptide specificities for some of the CD8+ T cells in case 1. In both cases, the CD4+ T cell population was more heterogeneous. Most CD4+ and CD8+ clones were represented in perivascular infiltrates as well as among parenchymal T cells. In case 2, two of the CD8+ clones identified in brain tissue were also detected in peripheral blood. Investigation of the antigenic specificities of expanded clones may help to elucidate their functional properties.
PMCID: PMC2193223  PMID: 10934227
autoimmunity; demyelinating disease; T cell receptor β chain; gene rearrangement; peripheral blood

Results 1-8 (8)