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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000 Apr;903:335-44.

Alterations of Alzheimer's disease in the cholesterol-fed rabbit, including vascular inflammation. Preliminary observations.

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Sun Health Research Institute, Sun City, Arizona, USA.


We determined the levels of endothelial inflammation using MECA-32 antibody and alpha 4 nicotinic receptor subunit densities employing [3H]epibatidine binding in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, cholesterol-fed rabbits, and appropriate controls. We also assessed rabbit brain for beta-amyloid levels and immunohistochemical localization, and for evidence of blood-brain barrier breach using normally-excluded Evans Blue dye. Dietary cholesterol induced a twofold increase in beta-amyloid concentration in rabbit hippocampal cortex, which may be related to the appearance of beta-amyloid immunoreactivity in the neuropil. Epibatidine binding was significantly decreased in AD superior frontal cortex, but unchanged in the superior frontal cortex of cholesterol-fed rabbits. Increased vascular MECA-32 immunoreactivity occurred in AD and cholesterol-fed rabbit brain. Evans Blue dye could be found in the parenchyma of cholesterol-fed rabbits only, and appeared as pockets of dye surrounding small blood vessels. The data suggest that vascular inflammation can lead to breach of the blood-brain barrier, which may produce biochemical derangements in surrounding brain tissue that are conducive to production of beta-amyloid.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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