Affiliation: Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Brock University, 500 Glenridge Avenue, STH 315, St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1, Canada.
Fifteen Alzheimer (AD) and fifteen normative (NM) age-matched autopsy brains were analyzed in superior temporal cortex, hippocampal and brainstem samples. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) positive capillaries were quantitatively analyzed in all three sites in the 30 cases. Amyloid β 42 senile plaques and VEGF positive capillaries were counted and statistically analyzed using Mann-Whitney, Kruskal–Wallis and the non-parametric Spearman’s test. There is a significantly different expression of capillary VEGF between normative and Alzheimer brains. Within Alzheimer’s superior temporal, hippocampus and brainstem sites there was reduced VEGF expression, with the P value being less than 0.05 in all three sites (superior temporal less than 0.035, hippocampus less than 0.001, brainstem less than 0.006). As VEGF is an important endothelial growth factor involved in vascular remodeling, angiogenesis, and endothelial/blood brain barrier maintenance, its reduced expression in Alzheimer’s disease is evidence for altered capillary function in this disease, which may be contributory to its pathogenesis by altering beta amyloid handling and efflux.