Increased platelet GSK3B activity in patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.J Psychiatr Res. 2011 Feb; 45(2):220-4.JP
The disruption of glycogen synthase kinase 3-beta (GSK3B) homeostasis has implications in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders, namely Alzheimer's disease (AD). GSK3B activity is increased within the AD brain, favoring the hyperphosphorylation of microtubule-associated protein Tau and the formation of neurofibrillary tangles. Such abnormality has also been detected in leukocytes of patients with cognitive disorders. The aim of the present study was to determine the expression of total and phosphorylated GSK3B at protein level in platelets of older adults with varying degrees of cognitive impairment, and to compare GSK3B activity in patients with AD, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and healthy controls. Sixty-nine older adults were included (24 patients with mild to moderate AD, 22 patients with amnestic MCI and 23 elderly controls). The expression of platelet GSK3B (total- and Ser-9 phosphorylated GSK3B) was determined by Western blot. GSK3B activity was indirectly assessed by means of the proportion between phospho-GSK3B to total GSK3B (GSK3B ratio), the former representing the inactive form of the enzyme. Ser-9 phosphorylated GSK3B was significantly reduced in patients with MCI and AD as compared to controls (p=0.04). Platelet GSK3B ratio was significantly decreased in patients with MCI and AD (p=0.04), and positively correlated with scores on memory tests (r=0.298, p=0.01). In conclusion, we corroborate previous evidence of increased GSK activity in peripheral tissues of patients with MCI and AD, and further propose that platelet GSK may be an alternative peripheral biomarker of this abnormality, provided samples are adequately handled in order to preclude platelet activation.