Transcriptome meta-analysis reveals a central role for sex steroids in the degeneration of hippocampal neurons in Alzheimer's disease

Jessica M. Winkler, Howard S. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Alzheimer's disease is the most prevalent form of dementia. While a number of transcriptomic studies have been performed on the brains of Alzheimer's specimens, no clear picture has emerged on the basis of neuronal transcriptional alterations linked to the disease. Therefore we performed a meta-analysis of studies comparing hippocampal neurons in Alzheimer's disease to controls.Results: Homeostatic processes, encompassing control of gene expression, apoptosis, and protein synthesis, were identified as disrupted during Alzheimer's disease. Focusing on the genes carrying out these functions, a protein-protein interaction network was produced for graph theory and cluster exploration. This approach identified the androgen and estrogen receptors as key components and regulators of the disrupted homeostatic processes.Conclusions: Our systems biology approach was able to identify the importance of the androgen and estrogen receptors in not only homeostatic cellular processes but also the role of other highly central genes in Alzheimer's neuronal dysfunction. This is important due to the controversies and current work concerning hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women, and possibly men, as preventative approaches to ward off this neurodegenerative disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number51
JournalBMC systems biology
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 26 2013

Keywords

  • Androgen receptor
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Graph theory
  • Hippocampus
  • Neurodegeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics

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