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Neurosci Lett. 2000 Mar 31;283(1):9-12.

Cholinergic deafferentation of the rabbit cortex: a new animal model of Abeta deposition.

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Sun Health Research Institute, Sun City, AZ 85351, USA.


Brain deposition of the amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) is a critical step in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and human cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). A small fraction of AD and CAA cases are caused by gene mutations leading to increased production and deposition of Abeta, but for the majority, there is no known direct genetic cause. We have hypothesized that Abeta deposition in these sporadic cases occurs as a result of cortical cholinergic deafferentation. Here we show that cortical cholinergic deafferentation, induced in rabbits by a selective immunotoxin, leads to Abeta deposition in cerebral blood vessels and perivascular neuropil. Biochemical measurements confirmed that lesioned animals had 2.5- and 8-fold elevations of cortical Abeta40 and Abeta42, respectively. Cholinergic deafferentation may be one factor that can contribute to Abeta deposition.

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