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Reduced Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) levels have been described in a number of patho-physiological conditions, most notably, in Huntington's disease (HD), a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Since BDNF is also produced in blood, we have undertaken the measurement of its peripheral levels in the attempt to identify a possible link with HD(More)
One cardinal feature of Huntington's disease (HD) is the degeneration of striatal neurons, whose survival greatly depends on the binding of cortical brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) with high-affinity (TrkB) and low-affinity neurotrophin receptors [p75 pan-neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR))]. With a few exceptions, results obtained in HD mouse models(More)
We have previously demonstrated that the transcription of neuronal repressor element-1/neuron-restrictive silencer element (RE1/NRSE)-regulated genes is reduced in the brain of subjects with Huntington's disease (HD) as a result of increased binding of the repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor/neuron-restrictive silencer factor (REST/NRSF) to(More)
Background Abnormalities in brain cholesterol homeostasis have been reported in Huntington's disease (HD), an adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expansion in the number of CAG repeats in the huntingtin (HTT) gene. However, the results have been contradictory with respect to whether cholesterol levels increase or decrease in HD models.(More)
We describe a novel strategy for mRNA normalization in quantitative real-time PCR that is based on expressed Alu repeat amplification as a measure for the mRNA fraction. We show that expressed Alu repeat amplification is a fast, accurate normalization tool that can be successfully used for quantification of selected mRNA in the human transcriptome. This(More)
In the adult brain, neurons require local cholesterol production, which is supplied by astrocytes through apoE-containing lipoproteins. In Huntington's disease (HD), such cholesterol biosynthesis in the brain is severely reduced. Here we show that this defect, occurring in astrocytes, is detrimental for HD neurons. Astrocytes bearing the huntingtin protein(More)
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