Cajal-Retzius cells are reelin-secreting neurons in the marginal zone of the neocortex and hippocampus. The aim of this study was to investigate Cajal-Retzius cells in Alzheimer's disease pathology. Results revealed that the number of Cajal-Retzius cells markedly reduced with age in both wild type and in mice over-expressing the Swedish double mutant form of amyloid precursor protein 695 (transgenic (Tg) 2576 mice). Numerous reelin-positive neurons were positive for activated caspase 3 in Tg2576 mice, suggesting that Cajal-Retzius neuronal loss occurred via apoptosis in this Alzheimer's disease model. Compared with wild type, the number of Cajal-Retzius cells was significantly lower in Tg2576 mice. Western blot analysis confirmed that reelin levels were markedly lower in Tg2576 mice than in wild-type mice. The decline in Cajal-Retzius cells in Tg2576 mice was found to occur concomitantly with the onset of Alzheimer's disease amyloid pathology and related behavioral deficits. Overall, these data indicated that Cajal-Retzius cell loss occurred with the onset and development of Alzheimer's disease.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Cajal-Retzius cells; NSFC grant; Tg2576 mice; development; hippocampus; nerve regeneration; neural regeneration; neurodegeneration; neuronal apoptosis; reelin.