Cerebrovascular and microglial states are not altered by functional neuroinflammatory gene variant

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2016 Apr;36(4):819-30. doi: 10.1177/0271678X15626719. Epub 2016 Jan 13.


The translocator protein, a microglial-expressed marker of neuroinflammation, has been implicated in Alzheimer's disease, which is characterized by alterations in vascular and inflammatory states. ATSPOvariant, rs6971, determines binding affinity of exogenous radioligandsin vivo; however, the effect of these altered binding characteristics on inflammatory and cerebrovascular biomarkers has not been assessed. In 2345 living subjects (Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, n = 1330) and postmortem brain samples (Religious Orders Study and Memory and Aging Project, n = 1015), we analyzed effects of rs6971 on white matter hyperintensisites, cerebral infarcts, circulating inflammatory biomarkers, amyloid angiopathy, and microglial activation. We found that rs6971 does not alter translocator protein in a way that impacts cerebrovascular and inflammatory states known to be affected in dementia.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s; MRI; Microglia; genetics; inflammation; risk factors; white matter disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Arterial Pressure
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy / genetics
  • Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy / pathology
  • Cerebral Infarction / pathology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / genetics*
  • Male
  • Microglia*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • White Matter / pathology


  • Biomarkers
  • Reactive Oxygen Species

Supplementary concepts

  • Amyloid angiopathy