Increased levels of pregnancy zone protein (PZP) were found in the serum of persons who later developed Alzheimer's disease (AD) in comparison to controls who remained dementia free.We suggested that this increase is due to brain derived PZP entering the blood stream during the early phase of the disease. Here we investigate the possible involvement of PZP in human AD pathogenesis. We observed increased PZP immunoreactivity in AD postmortem brain cortex compared to non-demented controls. In the AD cortex, PZP immunoreactivity localized to microglial cells that interacted with senile plaques and was occasionally observed in neurons. Our data link the finding of elevated serum PZP levels with the characteristic AD pathology and identify PZP as a novel component in AD.

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Journal of Alzheimer's Disease
Department of Neurology

Nijholt, D. A. T., IJsselstijn, L., van der Weiden, M., Zheng, P., Sillevis Smitt, P., Koudstaal, P., … Kros, J. (2015). Pregnancy zone protein is increased in the Alzheimer's disease brain and associates with senile plaques. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 46(1), 227–238. doi:10.3233/JAD-131628