Activation of caspase-6 in aging and mild cognitive impairment

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Active caspase-6 (Csp6) and Tau cleaved by Csp6 (TauΔCsp6) are abundant in neuritic plaques (NPs), neuropil threads (NPTs), and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in end-stage Alzheimer's disease (AD) (Guo H, Albrecht S, Bourdeau M, Petzke T, Bergeron C, LeBlanc AC: Active caspase-6 and caspase-6 cleaved Tau in neuropil threads, neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles of Alzheimer's disease. Am J Pathol 2004, 165:523-531). The goal of this study was to determine whether active Csp6 is present in young and aged noncognitively impaired (NCI); aged mild cognitively impaired (MCI); and aged mild, moderate, severe, and very severe AD individuals. Csp6 activity was assessed with anti-p20Csp6 and TauΔCsp6 immunoreactivity. Active Csp6 is present in NFTs, NPTs, and NPs at all stages of AD. Active Csp6 is present in NFTs of all MCI cases and present in NPTs and NPs of some MCI cases. Active Csp6 is present in NFTs and NPTs of all NCI cases but is absent in younger cases. The level of TauΔCsp6-positive NFTs and NPTs correlates inversely with global cognitive scores in NCI individuals. Therefore, Csp6 activity can occur with aging in the absence of AD and is always associated with clinical and pathological features of confirmed AD cases. Given the ability of active Csp6 to increase amyloid-β peptide production and cleave Tau and several synaptic proteins (LeBlanc AC, Liu H, Goodyer C, Bergeron C, Hammond J: Caspase-6 role in apoptosis of human neurons, amyloidogenesis and Alzheimer's disease. J Biol Chem 1999, 274:23426-23436; Petzke TL, Rousselet E, Goodyer C, LeBlanc AC: Substrates of caspase-6 in human primary neurons: a proteomic study. Program No. 80.9. 2005 Abstract Viewer/Itinerary Planner. Washington, DC: Society for Neuroscience. Online), we suggest that active Csp6 could be an early instigator of neuronal dysfunction. Copyright © American Society for Investigative Pathology.

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American Journal of Pathology







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