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J Neurosci. 1997 Aug 1;17(15):5678-86.

Neurotoxicity of the 22 kDa thrombin-cleavage fragment of apolipoprotein E and related synthetic peptides is receptor-mediated.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267, USA.


Potent neurotoxicity is associated with both apolipoprotein E (apoE)-related synthetic peptides and the 22 kDa N-terminal thrombin-cleavage fragment of apoE. Furthermore, the E4 isoform of the 22 kDa fragment is significantly more toxic than the same fragment derived from the E3 isoform, suggesting the possibility of a direct role of apoE-associated neurotoxicity in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease. In the present study, the potential role of cell surface receptors in mediating neurotoxicity was assessed by using a variety of agents that should block the heparin-binding and receptor-binding activity of apoE. Effective inhibitors of neurotoxicity of both the apoE peptides and the apoE fragment include heparin, heparan sulfate, sodium chlorate and heparinase, the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor-related protein receptor-associated protein, and a polyclonal anti-LDL receptor-related protein antibody. These results suggest that the neurotoxicity of the 22 kDa thrombin cleavage fragment of apoE and related peptides is receptor-mediated, and that the most likely candidate receptor is a heparan sulfate proteoglycan-LDL receptor-related protein complex.

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