Human brain S100β and S100β mRNA expression increases with age: Pathogenic implications for Alzheimer's disease

Jin G. Sheng, Robert E. Mrak, Cynthia R. Rovnaghi, Ewa Kozlowska, Linda J. Van Eldik, W. Sue T. Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


S100β is a neurite extension factor that has been implicated in the development of neuritic plaques in Alheimer's disease. We analyzed the expression of S100β and its encoding mRNA, using immunohistochemistry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and Northern blot analysis, in postmortem brain tissue from 26 neurologically normal patients, aged 1-80 years. Tissue levels of S100β and S100β mRNA, as well as the number of S100β-immunoreactive (S100β+) astrocytes, increased with advancing age (r = 0.60, p = 0.008; r = 0.65, p = 0.007; and r = 0.73, p = 0.001, respectively). In patients more than 60 years old, the number of S100β+ astrocytes and the tissue levels of S100β and S100β mRNA were significantly higher than those in patients less than 60 years of age (p = 0.001, p = 0.035, and p = 0.047. respectively). All of these values, however, were significantly less than those found in Alzheimer patients (p < 0.05 or better). Our findings, together with the known functions of S100β, suggest that age-related increases in S100β expression are important in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and may explain in part the increased incidence of this disease with advancing age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-363
Number of pages5
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank S. Woodward for skillful technical assistance and P. Free for secretarial support. This study was supported in part by NIH AG 12411, AG 10208, and NS 27414.


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • S100β
  • S100β mRNA
  • aging
  • brain
  • immunohistochemistry
  • northern blot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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