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J Neurosci. 2011 Oct 12;31(41):14488-95. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3088-11.2011.

Soluble Aβ seeds are potent inducers of cerebral β-amyloid deposition.

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  • 1Department of Cellular Neurology, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

Cerebral β-amyloidosis and associated pathologies can be exogenously induced by the intracerebral injection of small amounts of pathogenic Aβ-containing brain extract into young β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgenic mice. The probable β-amyloid-inducing factor in the brain extract has been identified as a species of aggregated Aβ that is generated in its most effective conformation or composition in vivo. Here we report that Aβ in the brain extract is more proteinase K (PK) resistant than is synthetic fibrillar Aβ, and that this PK-resistant fraction of the brain extract retains the capacity to induce β-amyloid deposition upon intracerebral injection in young, pre-depositing APP23 transgenic mice. After ultracentrifugation of the brain extract, <0.05% of the Aβ remained in the supernatant fraction, and these soluble Aβ species were largely PK sensitive. However, upon intracerebral injection, this soluble fraction accounted for up to 30% of the β-amyloid induction observed with the unfractionated extract. Fragmentation of the Aβ seeds by extended sonication increased the seeding capacity of the brain extract. In summary, these results suggest that multiple Aβ assemblies, with various PK sensitivities, are capable of inducing β-amyloid aggregation in vivo. The finding that small and soluble Aβ seeds are potent inducers of cerebral β-amyloidosis raises the possibility that such seeds may mediate the spread of β-amyloidosis in the brain. If they can be identified in vivo, soluble Aβ seeds in bodily fluids also could serve as early biomarkers for cerebral β-amyloidogenesis and eventually Alzheimer's disease.

PMID:
21994365
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3229270
Free PMC Article

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