Developmental expression of α1-antichymotrypsin in brain may be related to astrogliosis

Edward H. Koo, Carmela R. Abraham, Huntington Potter, Linda C. Cork, Donald L. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


In the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and aged monkeys, the serine protease inhibitor α1-antichymotrypsin (ACT) is selectively associated with deposits of amyloid found in senile plaques and in the walls of blood vessels. The origin of ACT in the brains of these aged subjects is unclear. In this study, ribonucleic acid (RNA) blots of human brains show that ACT messenger RNA (mRNA) increases during development. Levels of mRNA were negligible in fetuses and young adults but were increased slightly in normal aged individuals and highest in individuals with AD. In situ hybridization detected ACT transcripts in astrocytes of the cortex, subependymal region, and superficial white matter. The expression of ACT mRNA was highest in subjects with AD, in an adult with Down's syndrome, in an individual with Pick's disease, and in cases of Huntington's disease. In the brains of adult monkeys, ACT expression was detected primarily in astrocytes of the subependyma and white matter. Thus the presence of ACT appears to be related to the response of astrocytes to the brain abnormalities seen in these conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-501
Number of pages7
JournalNeurobiology of aging
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Astrocytes
  • Down's syndrome
  • Gene expression
  • Huntington's disease
  • Pick's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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