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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999;893:314-20.

Neurotoxicity and oxidative damage of beta amyloid 1-42 versus beta amyloid 1-40 in the mouse cerebral cortex.

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Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Massaschusetts 02118, USA.


Senile plaques (SP), a neuropathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD), are characterized by extracellular accumulations of beta amyloid (A beta). SP predominantly contain A beta 42 with a small amount of associated A beta 40. We determined the neurotoxic properties of A beta 42 as compared to A beta 40 by injections into the frontal cortex of three month old C57BL/6 mice. A beta 42 was associated with a significantly larger area of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity and a greater density of reactive astrocytes than A beta 40. Immunohistochemical staining for markers of oxidative damage against 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT) and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHDG) were significantly more intense around the A beta 42 injection compared to the A beta 40 injection sites. These findings are consistent with previous in vitro studies and suggest that A beta 42 is more neurotoxic and may generate more free radical damage than A beta 40.

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