The acute-phase "panproteinase" inhibitor "2-macroglobulin (alpha2M), a protein involved in inflammatory reactions, has been identified in amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In addition, alpha2M is involved in AD susceptibility at the genetic level, and a deletion polymorphism at the a2M gene has been found to be associated with sporadic AD. We analyzed the deletion polymorphism and a2M plasma levels in 93 ultraoctuagenarian patients with late-onset sporadic AD and in controls (n=157). alpha2M allele frequencies did not differ between AD patients (alpha2M*2=0.169) and controls (alpha2M*2=0.146). The mean plasma concentrations of alpha2M were similar in patients (271.8+/-79 mg/dl) and controls (269.5+/-81.2 mg/dl). No difference was found in the alpha2M mean plasma levels associated with the three alpha2M genotypes, indicating that the deletion has no effect on a2M protein level. However, in AD patients alpha2M mean plasma values differed significantly according to apolipoprotein E genotypes (p=0.03), with E3/E3 homozygotes showing the highest levels. Since in a previous work E3/E3 were found to be associated with the highest plasma levels of alpha(1)-antichymotrypsin, another acute-phase protein, the present findings seem to support the hypothesis that inflammation may be a relevant factor in AD pathogenesis peculiar to E3/E3 subjects.
alfa2-Macroglobulin deletion polymorphism and plasma levels in late-onset Alzheimer’s disease / Scacchi, R.; Ruggeri, M.; Gambina, G; Martini, M. C.; Corbo, Rosa Maria. - In: CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND LABORATORY MEDICINE. - ISSN 1434-6621. - STAMPA. - 40:(2002), pp. 333-336. [10.1515/CCLM.2002.052]