Induction of Heme Oxygenase‐1 mRNA and Protein in Neocortex and Cerebral Vessels in Alzheimer's Disease
Previous studies demonstrated the specific association of heme oxygenase (HO)-1 protein to the neurofibrillary pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study, we used reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction methods to show the increased expression of HO-1 but not HO-2 mRNA transcripts in cerebral cortex and cerebral vessels from subjects with AD compared with age-matched non-AD controls. Neither the HO-1 nor the HO-2 mRNA level was altered in the cerebellum, a brain region usually spared from the pathological alterations of AD. There was no clear evidence that the expression of HO-1 in these tissues was related to postmortem interval, cause of death, or the age of the subjects studied. Using immunoblotting methods, we further showed that HO-1 protein content was increased in neocortical and vascular samples from AD subjects compared with controls. Our findings suggest the specific induction of HO-1 mRNA and protein in the cerebral cortex and cerebral vessels but not HO-2 mRNA or protein in association with the pathological lesions of the disease. Key Words : Alzheimer's disease-Amyloid β-protein-Antioxidants-Cerebral vessels-Heat-shock proteins-Heme oxygenase-I -Heme oxygenase-2-Stress proteins. J. Neurochem. 65, 1399-1402 (1995).