A role for altered iron metabolism in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease has been suggested by several reports associating the cardinal neuropathologic lesions with markers of free radical-induced damage and redox-active iron. We hypothesized that the abnormal distribution of iron in Alzheimer brain might result from alterations in iron regulatory proteins (IRP) such as IRP-1 and IRP-2, the main control elements of cellular iron homeostasis. Here, we report that while IRP-1 is present at similar levels in both Alzheimer and control brain tissue, IRP-2 shows striking differences and is associated with intraneuronal lesions, including neurofibrillary tangles, senile plaque neurites and neuropil threads. Since IRP-2 colocalizes with redox-active iron, our results suggest that alterations in IRP-2 might be directly linked to impaired iron homeostasis in Alzheimer's disease.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology