Reduction of vitamin D hormone receptor mRNA levels in Alzheimer as compared to Huntington hippocampus: correlation with calbindin-28k mRNA levels

May Kung Sutherland, Martin J. Somerville, Larry K K Yoong, Catherine Bergeron, Mark R Haussler, Donald R. Crapper McLachlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

148 Scopus citations


Receptors for vitamin D hormone (VDR) and the calcium binding protein, calbindin-28k, have been localized in many tissues, including brain. In brain, VDR and calbindin-28k were reported to colocalize in hippocampal CA1 cells. We have shown that mRNA pool size for calbindin-28k was reduced, on average, by 35% in Alzheimer hippocampal CA1 cells, as compared to Huntington control (manuscript in preparation). In the present study, in situ hybridization with tritiated antisense RNA probes was used to examine VDR expression in paired Alzheimer and Huntington brain tissue. Message levels for VDR were reduced, on average, by 34% and 31%, respectively, in Alzheimer hippocampal CA1 and CA2 pyramidal cells, as compared to Huntington control. However, VDR message levels were not significantly different from control in Alzheimer temporal cortex or cerebellum. There was no correlation between VDR message levels and brain weight, autopsy interval, patient age or the extent of neurofibrillary degeneration. Instead, VDR mRNA pool size in hippocampal CA1 cells correlated significantly with calbindin-28k message levels (r = 0.52, P < 0.001). Decreased message levels for VDR and calbindin-28k in these cells were due to an increased percentage of cells expressing lower message levels for these proteins. These results show that in Alzheimer hippocampal CA1 cells, VDR mRNA pool size is downregulated and that this downregulation may play a role in the reduction of calbindin-28k expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-250
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1992



  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Calbindin-28k
  • Cerebellum
  • Hippocampus
  • Huntington's chorea
  • In situ hybridization
  • Temporal cortex
  • Vitamin D hormone receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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