. Deficiency of complement defense protein CD59 may contribute to neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease. J Neurosci. 2000 Oct 15;20(20):7505-9. PubMed.


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  1. In recent years, it has come to light that the human brain is the site of essential immune reactions that are involved in responses to a wide variety of defined pathogens and toxins as well as in neurodegenerative diseases of unknown etiology. While some of the immune reactions follow established concepts of immunology, many are peculiar to neural tissue probably related to the fact that neurons once generated do not replicate. The studies from Carla Shatz and Harald Wekerle show that neurons can induce major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I) when neurons are activated or impaired by depolarization or interferon. The evidence for immune responses in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) subjects are provided by the clear identification of complement factors in cerebral amyloid deposits from laboratories such as: Piet Eikelenboom, Caleb Finch, Sue Griffin, Patrick McGeer, Giulio Pasinetti, Joseph Rogers, and our own lab (Shen et al.). For example, our previous results demonstrate that neurons are cap.

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  1. In AD, both neurons and microglia change expression of immune-related genes