Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

VGF expression by T lymphocytes in patients with Alzheimer’s disease

Stefan Busse _, Johann Steiner, Sarah Glorius, Henrik Dobrowolny, Sabrina Greiner-Bohl, Christian Mawrin, Ursula Bommhardt, Roland Hartig, Bernhard Bogerts and Mandy Busse

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:14843-14851. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3569

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Stefan Busse1,*, Johann Steiner1,2,*, Sarah Glorius1, Henrik Dobrowolny1, Sabrina Greiner-Bohl1, Christian Mawrin3, Ursula Bommhardt4, Roland Hartig4, Bernhard Bogerts1,2 and Mandy Busse5

1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany

2 Center for Behavioral Brain Sciences, University of Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany

3 Department of Neuropathology, University of Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany

4 Institute of Molecular and Clinical Immunology, University of Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany

5 Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergology & Neonatology, Medical University of Hannover, Hannover, Germany

* These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Stefan Busse, email:

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, T cells, VGF expression, rivastigmine, rapamycin, geotarget

Received: January 06, 2015 Accepted: February 22, 2015 Published: March 14, 2015


Secretion of VGF is increased in cerebrospinal fluid and blood in neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and VGF is a potential biomarker for these disorders. We have shown that VGF is expressed in peripheral T cells and is correlated with T cell survival and cytokine secretion. The frequency of VGF+CD3+ T cells increases with normal aging. We found an increased number of VGF-expressing T cells in patients with AD compared to aged healthy controls, which was associated with enhanced HbA1c levels in blood. Upon treatment with rivastigmine, T cell proliferation and VGF expression in AD patients decreased to the level found in controls. Moreover, rapamycin treatment in vitro reduced the number of VGF+CD3+ cells in AD patients to control levels.

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