Reduction in Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Expression in the Superior Temporal, Hippocampal, and Brainstem Regions in Alzheimer`s Disease
Fifteen Alzheimer (AD) and fifteen normative (NM) age-matched autopsy brains were analyzed in superior
temporal cortex, hippocampal and brainstem samples. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) positive capillaries
were quantitatively analyzed in all three sites in the 30 cases. Amyloid β42 senile plaques and VEGF positive capillaries
were counted and statistically analyzed using Mann-Whitney, Kruskal–Wallis and the non-parametric Spearman’s test.
There is a significantly different expression of capillary VEGF between normative and Alzheimer brains. Within
Alzheimer’s superior temporal, hippocampus and brainstem sites there was reduced VEGF expression, with the P value
being less than 0.05 in all three sites (superior temporal less than 0.035, hippocampus less than 0.001, brainstem less than
0.006). As VEGF is an important endothelial growth factor involved in vascular remodeling, angiogenesis, and
endothelial/blood brain barrier maintenance, its reduced expression in Alzheimer’s disease is evidence for altered
capillary function in this disease, which may be contributory to its pathogenesis by altering beta amyloid handling and
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, blood-brain barrier, senile plaques, VEGF.
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