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      Immunization with amyloid-β attenuates Alzheimer-disease-like pathology in the PDAPP mouse

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          Abstract

          Amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) seems to have a central role in the neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Familial forms of the disease have been linked to mutations in the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and the presenilin genes. Disease-linked mutations in these genes result in increased production of the 42-amino-acid form of the peptide (Abeta42), which is the predominant form found in the amyloid plaques of Alzheimer's disease. The PDAPP transgenic mouse, which overexpresses mutant human APP (in which the amino acid at position 717 is phenylalanine instead of the normal valine), progressively develops many of the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease in an age- and brain-region-dependent manner. In the present study, transgenic animals were immunized with Abeta42, either before the onset of AD-type neuropathologies (at 6 weeks of age) or at an older age (11 months), when amyloid-beta deposition and several of the subsequent neuropathological changes were well established. We report that immunization of the young animals essentially prevented the development of beta-amyloid-plaque formation, neuritic dystrophy and astrogliosis. Treatment of the older animals also markedly reduced the extent and progression of these AD-like neuropathologies. Our results raise the possibility that immunization with amyloid-beta may be effective in preventing and treating Alzheimer's disease.

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          Most cited references16

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          Alzheimer-type neuropathology in transgenic mice overexpressing V717F beta-amyloid precursor protein.

          Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of progressive intellectual failure in aged humans. AD brains contain numerous amyloid plaques surrounded by dystrophic neurites, and show profound synaptic loss, neurofibrillary tangle formation and gliosis. The amyloid plaques are composed of amyloid beta-peptide (A beta), a 40-42-amino-acid fragment of the beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP). A primary pathogenic role for APP/A beta is suggested by missense mutations in APP that are tightly linked to autosomal dominant forms of AD. A major obstacle to elucidating and treating AD has been the lack of an animal model. Animals transgenic for APP have previously failed to show extensive AD-type neuropathology, but we now report the production of transgenic mice that express high levels of human mutant APP (with valine at residue 717 substituted by phenylalanine) and which progressively develop many of the pathological hallmarks of AD, including numerous extracellular thioflavin S-positive A beta deposits, neuritic plaques, synaptic loss, astrocytosis and microgliosis. These mice support a primary role for APP/A beta in the genesis of AD and could provide a preclinical model for testing therapeutic drugs.
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            Secretion of beta-amyloid precursor protein cleaved at the amino terminus of the beta-amyloid peptide.

            The accumulation in brain of senile plaques containing beta-amyloid protein (A beta) is a defining feature of Alzheimer's disease. The amyloid precursor protein (APP)4 from which A beta is derived is subject to several genetic mutations which segregate with rare familial forms of the disease, resulting in early onset of dementia and plaque formation, suggesting that APP metabolism plays a causal role in the disease. Various cell types have been shown to release a soluble form of A beta, thus allowing for the in vitro study of A beta generation. We report here evidence that a substantial portion of the APP secreted by human mixed brain cell cultures, as well as that present in cerebrospinal fluid, is of a novel form cleaved precisely at the amino terminus of A beta, suggesting that a secretory pathway is involved in A beta genesis.
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              Secreted amyloid β–protein similar to that in the senile plaques of Alzheimer's disease is increased in vivo by the presenilin 1 and 2 and APP mutations linked to familial Alzheimer's disease

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                July 1999
                July 8 1999
                July 1999
                : 400
                : 6740
                : 173-177
                Article
                10.1038/22124
                10408445
                c6f83a4b-3372-44bc-b255-2f688f27a89e
                © 1999

                http://www.springer.com/tdm


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