Increased Levels of Brain Adrenomedullin in the Neuropathology of Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by the loss of synaptic contacts caused in part by cytoskeleton disruption. Adrenomedullin (AM) is involved in physiological functions such as vasodilation, hormone secretion, antimicrobial activity, cellular growth, and angiogenesis. In neurons, AM and related peptides are associated with some structural and functional cytoskeletal proteins, causing microtubule destabilization. Here, we describe the relationships between AM and other signs of AD in clinical specimens. Frontal cortex from AD patients and controls were studied for AM, acetylated tubulin, NCAM, Ox-42, and neurotransmitters. AM was increased in AD compared with controls, while levels of acetylated tubulin, NCAM, and neurotransmitters were decreased. Interestingly, increases in AM statistically correlated with the decrease in these markers. Furthermore, Ox42 overexpression in AD correlated with levels of AM. It is proposed that AD patients may have neural cytoskeleton failure associated with increase of AM levels, resulting in axon transport collapse and synaptic loss. These observations suggest that reducing AM expression may constitute a new avenue to prevent/treat AD.