Neurobiology of aging

Alzheimer's disease is associated with low density of the long CR1 isoform.

PMID 25666996


The long complement receptor type 1 (CR1) isoform, CR1*2 (S), has been identified as being associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk. We aimed to analyze the phenotypic structural and expression aspects (length and density) of CR1 in erythrocytes of 135 Caucasian subjects (100 AD and 35 controls). CR1 length polymorphism was assessed at protein and gene levels using Western blot and high-resolution melting, respectively. CR1 sites on erythrocytes were enumerated by flow cytometry. CR1 gene analysis, spotting the rs6656401 and rs3818361 polymorphisms, was performed by pyrosequencing. The CR1 density was significantly lower in AD patients expressing the CR1*2 isoform compared with the controls (p = 0.001), demonstrating lower expression of CR1 in CR1*2 carriers. Our data suggested the existence of silent CR1 alleles. Finally, rs6656401 and rs3818361 were strongly associated with CR1 length polymorphism (p < 0.0001). These observations indicate that AD susceptibility is associated with the long CR1 isoform (CR1*2), albeit at a lower density, suggesting that AD results from insufficient clearance of plaque deposits rather than increased inflammation.