Possible roles of transglutaminases in Alzheimer's disease

T. Yamada, Y. Yosshiyama, N. Kawaguchi, A. Ichinose, T. Iwaki, S. Hirose, W. A. Jefferies

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17 Citations (Scopus)


The localizations of two transglutaminases [factor XIIIa and tissue transglutaminase (tTG)] and their mRNAs were examined in human brain tissues from neurologically normal and Alzheimer disease (AD) cases, using immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization methods. In all cases, meningeal macrophages and ependymal macrophage/microglia were positive for factor XIIIa. The mRNA encoding factor XIIIa was detected in macrophages and microglia. As reported previously, intense staining with the antibody to factor XIIIa of a subset of microglia was seen in the parietal cortex in AD brains. Few or no microglia were found associated with classical senile plaques. In contrast, many labeled microglia were associated with primitive plaques. Furthermore, most of these cells were mainly seen in the subpial cortical layer but were very rare in the hippocampus. On the other hand, few factor-XIIIa-positive microglia were found in the parietal cortices from non-neurological cases, but moderate numbers were found in their hippocampal tissues. TG and its mRNA were localized in astrocytes in all the cases. In AD, a few neurofibrillary tangles were positive to tTG. These results suggest that the subsets of microglia which express factor XIIIa may play some roles in the early phase of AD pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-110
Number of pages8
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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