Glia Maturation Factor in the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease

Open Access J Neurol Neurosurg. 2019;12(3):79-82. Epub 2019 Dec 17.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory disease characterized by the presence of extracellular amyloid plaques (APs) and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the brain. There is no disease modifying therapeutic options currently available for this disease. Hippocampus, entorhinal cortex (Broadmann area 28), perirhinal cortex (Broadmann area 35) and insular cortices are areas within the brain that are first ones to be severely affected in AD. Neuroinflammation is an important factor that induces neurodegeneration in AD. Glia maturation factor (GMF), a proinflammatory factor plays a crucial role in AD through activation of microglia and astrocytes to release proinflammatory mediators in the brain. Through immunohistochemical studies, we have previously shown that GMF is highly expressed in the vicinity of APs and NFTs in AD brains. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), reactive astrocytes, ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule-1 (Iba-1) labelled activated microglia and GMF immunoreactive glial cells are increased in the entorhinal cortical layers especially at the sites of APs and Tau containing NFTs indicating a role for GMF. Overexpression of GMF in glial cells leads to neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Inhibition of GMF expression reduces neurodegeneration. Therefore, we suggest that GMF is a novel therapeutic target not only for AD but also for various other neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid plaques; glia maturation factor; neurofibrillary tangles.