Changes in caspase-2 and -3 protein levels in Alzheimer's disease (AD) brains were assessed in comparison with their expression in development and aging. The protein levels of caspase-2 and -3 were significantly increased in AD brains, caspase-2 in the particulate fraction and caspase-3 in both the cytosolic and particulate fractions, compared with controls. Immunoblot analysis of brain extracts from embryonic day 19 (E19) to postnatal 96-week-old rats indicated that caspase-3 levels were high from E19 to 2 weeks, while caspase-2 remained high from 4 to 96 weeks, indicating that the expression of caspase-2 and -3 is differentially regulated during development and aging. These results suggest that caspase-2 and -3 are upregulated in AD and that the changes in AD are different from those observed in senescent brains.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.