270 Scopus citations


Small untranslated BC1 and BC200 RNAs are translational regulators that are selectively targeted to somatodendritic domains of neurons. They are thought to operate as modulators of local protein synthesis in postsynaptic dendritic microdomains, in a capacity in which they would contribute to the maintenance of long-term synaptic plasticity. Because plasticity failure has been proposed to be a starting point for the neurodegenerative changes that are seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD), we asked whether somatodendritic levels of human BC200 RNA are deregulated in AD brains. We found that in normal aging, BC200 levels in cortical areas were reduced by >60% between the ages of 49 and 86. In contrast, BC200 RNA was significantly up-regulated in AD brains, in comparison with age-matched normal brains. This up-regulation in AD was specific to brain areas that are involved in the disease. Relative BC200 levels in those areas increased in parallel with the progression of AD, as reflected by Clinical Dementia Rating scores. In more advanced stages of the disease, BC200 RNA often assumed a clustered perikaryal localization, indicating that dendritic loss is accompanied by somatic overexpression. Mislocalization and overexpression of BC200 RNA may be reactive-compensatory to, or causative of, synaptodendritic deterioration in AD neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10679-10684
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number25
StatePublished - 19 Jun 2007


  • Dementia
  • Non-protein-coding RNA
  • RNA transport


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