Methionine Sulfoxide Reductase-B3 (MsrB3) Protein Associates with Synaptic Vesicles and its Expression Changes in the Hippocampi of Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified susceptibility loci associated with decreased hippocampal volume, and found hippocampal subfield-specific effects at MSRB3 (methionine sulfoxide reductase-B3). The MSRB3 locus was also linked to increased risk for late onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In this study, we uncovered novel sites of MsrB3 expression in CA pyramidal layer and arteriolar walls by using automated immunohistochemistry on hippocampal sections from 23 individuals accompanied by neuropathology reports and clinical dementia rating scores. Controls, cognitively intact subjects with no hippocampal neurofibrillary tangles, exhibited MsrB3 signal as distinct but rare puncta in CA1 pyramidal neuronal somata. In CA3, however, MsrB3-immunoreactivity was strongest in the neuropil of the pyramidal layer. These patterns were replicated in rodent hippocampi where ultrastructural and immunohistofluorescence analysis revealed MsrB3 signal associated with synaptic vesicles and colocalized with mossy fiber terminals. In AD subjects, the number of CA1 pyramidal neurons with frequent, rather than rare, MsrB3-immunoreactive somatic puncta increased in comparison to controls. This change in CA1 phenotype correlated with the occurrence of AD pathological hallmarks. Moreover, the intensity of MsrB3 signal in the neuropil of CA3 pyramidal layer correlated with the signal pattern in neurons of CA1 pyramidal layer that was characteristic of cognitively intact individuals. Finally, MsrB3 signal in the arteriolar walls in the hippocampal white matter decreased in AD patients. This characterization of GWAS-implicated MSRB3 protein expression in human hippocampus suggests that patterns of neuronal and vascular MsrB3 protein expression reflect or underlie pathology associated with AD.