Cystatin C is differentially involved in multiple system atrophy phenotypes

Aintzane Urbizu, Julia Canet-Pons, Ana M. Munoz-Marmol, Iban Aldecoa, Maria T. Lopez, Yaroslau Compta, Ramiro Alvarez, Lourdes Ispierto, Eduardo Tolosa, Aurelio Ariza, Katrin Beyer

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7 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014 British Neuropathological Society. Aims: As cystatin C (CysC) is involved in some forms of neurodegeneration, we investigated the possible relationship between CysC and multiple system atrophy (MSA), including its parkinsonian (MSAp) and cerebellar (MSAc) phenotypes. Methods: Cystatin C gene (CST3) haplotypes were determined by PCR followed by KspI digestion in 50 MSA patients and 108 controls. CST3 and cathepsins B, D and L1 mRNA levels were studied in frozen post-mortem caudate nucleus and cerebellar samples of eight MSAp, four MSAc and 18 control brains and analysed by the ΔΔCt method. CysC immunohistochemistry was performed on three MSAp, three MSAc and three control cerebella. Additionally, determination of CST3 and cathepsins B, D and L1 mRNA levels and immunohistochemistry for CysC were carried out in cerebella from three patients with paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, three with spinocerebellar ataxia (type 3, SCA3) and three with cerebellar ischaemia (CI). Results: In the set of blood samples, the CST3 B-haplotype was associated with MSAp (OR 4.86, confidence interval 1.84-13.3). High CST3 mRNA levels were found in MSAp caudate nuclei [expression change: 3.08 (2.98-3.18)] and MSAc cerebella [expression change: 2.44 (2.14-2.88)]. In the latter there was CysC over-expression in Purkinje cells, Bergmann glia and dentate nucleus neurones. No cathepsin increase was detected in MSA cerebella. High mRNA levels of CST3 and cathepsins B and L1 were observed in SCA3 and CI brains. Conclusions: CysC changes are differentially present in the parkinsonian and cerebellar forms of MSA and may play an important role in the pathogenesis of this neurodegenerative condition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-519
JournalNeuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Cathepsin B expression
  • Cathepsin D expression
  • Cathepsin L1 expression
  • Cystatin C expression
  • MSA phenotype
  • Multiple system atrophy (MSA)


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