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Brain Res. 2012 Apr 23;1450:138-47. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2012.02.041. Epub 2012 Feb 24.

The levels of water-soluble and triton-soluble Aβ are increased in Alzheimer's disease brain.

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  • 1Laboratory for Neurodegenerative Research, School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland.


Although plaques composed of the amyloid β-protein (Aβ) are considered a defining feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD), they are also found in cognitively normal individuals and extensive evidence suggests that non-plaque, water-soluble forms of Aβ may play a role in AD pathogenesis. However, the relationship between the levels of water-soluble Aβ and the clinical severity of disease has never been investigated. Here, we present results of a pilot study designed to examine the levels of water-soluble forms of Aβ in brains of individuals who died at clinically distinct stages of AD. Using a serial extraction method, we also investigated the levels of triton-soluble and formic acid-soluble Aβ. We found that water-soluble and detergent-soluble Aβ monomer and SDS-stable dimer were elevated in AD and that the levels of water soluble Aβ did not increase with plaque pathology. These results support the notion that both water- and detergent-soluble Aβ are important in AD and are not simply released from plaques by mechanical disruption. Moreover, the fact that the levels of water- and triton-soluble Aβ were similar in very mild/mild AD and moderate/severe AD suggests that once a certain level of these species is attained, further accumulation is not necessary for the disease to progress. Consequently, therapeutic targeting of water-soluble Aβ should best benefit individuals in earliest phases of the disease process.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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