beta-amyloid deposits in transgenic mice expressing human beta-amyloid precursor protein have the same characteristics as those in Alzheimer's disease

K Terai, A Iwai, S Kawabata, Y Tasaki, T Watanabe, K Miyata, T Yamaguchi
Neuroscience 2001, 104 (2): 299-310
A transgenic mouse expressing the human beta-amyloid precursor protein with the "Swedish" mutation, Tg2576, was used to investigate the mechanism of amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) deposition. We characterized Abeta deposits in the cerebral cortex biochemically and pathologically. A surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization affinity mass spectrometric study using the 6E10 monoclonal antibody demonstrated that the major species of Abeta in a formic acid-extracted fraction of the cortex were Abeta(1-38), Abeta(1-40) and Abeta(1-42). Immunohistochemistry using antibodies to the carboxy-terminal epitopes of Abeta(1-40) and Abeta(1-42), as well as 6E10, showed that plaques containing Abeta(1-42) were more numerous than those containing Abeta(1-40) throughout the cortex. Laser confocal analysis of the immunoreactivities in the plaques demonstrated that Abeta(1-40) was preferentially located in the central part of the Abeta(1-42) positive plaques. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay measurements of Abeta(1-40) and Abeta(1-42) showed that Abeta(1-40) was several-fold more abundant than Abeta(1-42). From these data we suggest that Abeta(1-42) deposition may precede Abeta(1-40) deposition, while Abeta(1-40) begins to deposit in the central part of the plaques and accumulates there. Furthermore, localization of Abeta(1-40) corresponded almost exactly to congophilic structures, which were associated with aberrant swollen synapses detected with antibodies to synaptophysin and alpha-synuclein. Thus, Abeta deposits in Tg2576 mice have similar characteristics to those in Alzheimer's disease.

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