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J Neurosci. 2000 May 15;20(10):3606-11.

Evidence for seeding of beta -amyloid by intracerebral infusion of Alzheimer brain extracts in beta -amyloid precursor protein-transgenic mice.

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  • 1Neuroscience Therapeutics, Parke-Davis Research, Division of Warner-Lambert, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105, USA.


Many neurodegenerative diseases are associated with the abnormal sequestration of disease-specific proteins in the brain, but the events that initiate this process remain unclear. To determine whether the deposition of the beta-amyloid peptide (Abeta), a key pathological feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD), can be induced in vivo, we infused dilute supernatants of autopsy-derived neocortical homogenates from Alzheimer's patients unilaterally into the hippocampus and neocortex of 3-month-old beta-amyloid precursor protein (betaAPP)-transgenic mice. Up to 4 weeks after the infusion there was no Abeta-deposition in the brain; however, after 5 months, the AD-tissue-injected hemisphere of the transgenic mice had developed profuse Abeta-immunoreactive senile plaques and vascular deposits, some of which were birefringent with Congo Red. There was limited deposition of diffuse Abeta also in the brains of betaAPP-transgenic mice infused with tissue from an age-matched, non-AD brain with mild beta-amyloidosis, but none in mice receiving extract from a young control case. Abeta deposits also were not found in either vehicle-injected or uninjected transgenic mice or in any nontransgenic mice. The results show that cerebral beta-amyloid can be seeded in vivo by a single inoculation of dilute AD brain extract, demonstrating a key pathogenic commonality between beta-amyloidosis and other neurodegenerative diseases involving abnormal protein polymerization. The paradigm can be used to clarify the conditions that initiate in vivo beta-amyloidogenesis in the brain and may yield a more authentic animal model of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

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