The accumulation of the β-amyloid peptide (βAP) in the brain, produced from the ubiquitously expressed amyloid precursor protein (APP) is a defining feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Consistent with studies demonstrating the importance of skin biopsy in the diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders, we investigated whether differences in intracellular free calcium levels ([Ca2+]i) of cultured cutaneous fibroblasts derived from sporadic AD patients and from age-matched control individuals might be present. [Ca2+]i was measured in Fura-2AM-loaded human fibroblasts by dual wavelength spectrofluorimetry. AD cells exhibited lower [Ca2+]i as compared to the control cultures. Exposure of fibroblasts to βAP resulted in increased [Ca2+]i of the control cells, but not of AD fibroblasts. Our test could prove useful in supporting the diagnosis of (sporadic) AD in patients suspected of suffering from the disease.
- Alzheimer's disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience