Detection of the membrane inhibitor of reactive lysis (CD59) in diseased neurons of Alzheimer brain

Brain Res. 1991 Mar 29;544(2):315-9. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(91)90071-3.


The membrane inhibitor of reactive lysis (MIRL) protects host cells from complement-mediated lysis. It was detected immunohistochemically in tangled neurons and dystrophic neurites of Alzheimer disease (AD) tissue in a pattern highly similar to that observed for the membrane attack complex of complement, C5b-9. MIRL was also detected in cultured IMR-32 neuroblastoma cells. The mRNA for MIRL was detected in RNA extracts of both AD and normal brain. These data provide the first evidence of brain neuronal expression of MIRL and its upregulation in neurons exposed to complement attack. They are consistent with the previously advanced hypothesis that complement-mediated neuronal injury may play a role in AD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, Differentiation / analysis*
  • Antigens, Differentiation / genetics
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • CD59 Antigens
  • Complement Membrane Attack Complex / analysis
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / analysis*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • CD59 Antigens
  • Complement Membrane Attack Complex
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger