Zhu M, Allard JS, Zhang Y, Perez E, Spangler EL, Becker KG, Rapp PR.
The detrimental effect of activation of the chemokine CCL4/MIP-1β on neuronal integrity in patients with HIV-associated dementia has directed attention to the potential role of CCL4 expression and regulation in Alzheimer disease. Here, we show that CCL4 mRNA and protein are overexpressed in the brains of APPswe/PS1ΔE9 (APP/PS1) double-transgenic mice, a model of cerebral amyloid deposition; expression was minimal in brains from nontransgenic littermates or single-mutant controls. Increased levels of CCL4 mRNA and protein directly correlated with the age-related progression of cerebral amyloid-β (Aβ) levels in APP/PS1 mice. We also found significantly increased expression of activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3), which was positively correlated with age-related Aβ deposition and CCL4 in the brains of APP/PS1 mice. Results from chromatin immunoprecipitation-quantitative polymerase chain reaction confirmed that ATF3 binds to the promoter region of the CCL4 gene, consistent with a potential role in regulating CCL4 transcription. Finally, elevated ATF3 mRNA expression in APP/PS1 brains was associated with hypomethylation of the ATF3 gene promoter region. These observations prompt the testable hypothesis for future study that CCL4 overexpression, regulated in part by hypomethylation of the ATF3 gene, may contribute to neuropathologic progression associated with amyloid deposition in Alzheimer disease.