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The Relationship between Choline Acetyltransferase and Nitric Oxide Synthase Isoform Expression in Alzheimer's Disease | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2161-0460

Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism
Open Access

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Research Article

The Relationship between Choline Acetyltransferase and Nitric Oxide Synthase Isoform Expression in Alzheimer's Disease

B.E. Kalisch1*, J.C. Baskey2 and R.J. Rylett2

1Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

2Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Western Ontario and Cell Biology Research Group, Robarts Research Institute, London, Ontario, Canada

Corresponding Author:
B.E. Kalisch
Department of Biomedical Sciences
University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario
Canada, N1G 2W1
Tel: 519-824-4120
Fax: 519-787-1640
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: November 14, 2011; Accepted date: December 20, 2011; Published December 22, 2011

Citation: Kalisch BE, Baskey JC, Rylett RJ (2012) The Relationship between Choline Acetyltransferase and Nitric Oxide Synthase Isoform Expression in Alzheimer’s Disease. J Alzheimers Dis 2:105. doi:10.4172/2161-0460.1000105

Copyright: © 2012 Kalisch BE, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Nitric oxide (NO) plays an important role in cholinergic neurotransmission and has been implicated in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Cholinergic neurotransmission has been associated with regulation of NO synthase (NOS) expression, and we determined previously that NO modulates choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) expression. In spite of the important links identified between NOS and ChAT, little is known about the relationship between these two enzymes in AD. Therefore in the present study, we compared the expression levels of ChAT and NOS in necropsy brain of individuals with AD and non-demented controls. ChAT and NOS levels were assessed in control and AD caudate, nucleus basalis of Meynert (nbM), cortex and hippocampus by radioenzymatic assay, immunoblot analysis and RT-PCR. We detected a significant decrease in ChAT activity in the cortex of AD cases, but no alterations in NOS activity were observed in any of the brain regions examined. At the mRNA level, no significant decrease in total ChAT mRNA was detected but the decrease in M-ChAT mRNA levels approached significance in the nbM. No difference in nNOS and iNOS mRNA and protein levels was observed between control and AD tissue in any of the four brain regions sampled, but a statistically significant decrease in eNOS mRNA levels was detected in both the cortex and hippocampus of AD brain. Finally, the levels of ChAT and NOS activity, protein or mRNA isoforms did not correlate in most of the brain regions examined, but a reduction in ChAT activity and eNOS mRNA in basal forebrain projection regions was observed. These data suggest that in general, there is no correlation between the levels of NOS and ChAT in control or AD subjects, but a reduction in eNOS levels in the hippocampus and cortex indicates there could be an interaction between eNOS containing cells and basal forebrain projections neurons in AD.