Autoimmunity in Alzheimer's disease as evidenced by plasma immunoreactivity against RAGE and Aβ42: Complication of diabetes

Shyamala Mruthinti, Rosann F. Schade, Dean U Harrell, Nidhi K Gulati, S. Swamy-Mruthinti, Gregory P Lee, Jerry J. Buccafusco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Features of autoimmunity have been associated with both Alzheimer's disease (AD) and with diabetes. In both diseases high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and their receptor (RAGE) have been detected in tissues and in the circulation. In addition high titers of antibodies directed against a RAGE-like peptide occur in the circulation. In this study we report the presence of auto-antibodies directed against RAGE and the cytotoxic amyloid peptide Aβ42 in plasma samples derived from four study groups. Anti-RAGE IgG titers were greatest in the AD-diabetic cohort. They were followed in decreasing order by the AD-non-diabetic cohort, the elderly diabetic cohort, and lastly by the control non-diabetic elderly cohort. The same profile of IgG differences was evident for the anti-Aβ42 titers. When all of the data were combined, there was a strong linear correlation between the RAGE and Aβ42 titers suggesting that the two peptides exist as a tight complex in plasma. Plasma IgG titers were not correlated with cognitive status except that AD and AD-diabetic participants were significantly cognitively impaired relative to the two non-AD groups. There also was no significant correlation between IgG titers and subject age, except that there was a trend for a negative slope for the AD participants and a positive slope for the control participants. In keeping with the human data, we also report that chemically-induced diabetes in rats was associated with high levels of AGEs, anti-RAGE-like IgGs, and anti-Aβ42-like IgGs. For non-diabetic rats, there was a clear age-dependency regarding the magnitude of the IgG levels. These data support the concept of an interrelationship between diabetes and AD. For both diseases one underlying contributing factor to cytotoxicity could be the development of an autoimmune response triggered by the presence of AGEs and amyloid peptides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-235
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Alzheimer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 10 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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