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Mol Med. 2000 May;6(5):430-9.

Elevated A beta and apolipoprotein E in A betaPP transgenic mice and its relationship to amyloid accumulation in Alzheimer's disease.

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Haldeman Laboratory for Alzheimer Disease Research, Sun Health Research Institute, Sun City, Arizona 85351, USA.



Amyloid-beta (A beta) accumulates in plaques and as cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) in the brains of both Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and transgenic A betaPPswe/tg2576 (tg2576) mice. Increasingly, evidence in humans and mice shows this process to be modulated by apolipoprotein E (apoE).


To explore this relationship, we measured apoE and A beta levels in brains of tg2576 mice and controls at intervals between 2 and 20 months. In addition, A beta concentrations in plasma and muscle of these animals were also quantified.


Quite strikingly, we found that the amount of tg2576 mice brain apoE was elevated by an average of 45%, relative to the control mice from 2 months on. The level of brain apoE soared after 14 months to almost 60% greater than the level found in control mice. A beta concentrations in brains before 9 months were less than 2 ng/mg of protein, but by 14 months concentrations rose to 8.7 ng/mg, and by 20 months to 47 ng/mg. In plasma, we noted that the levels of A beta in tg2576 mice declined from above 30 ng/ml prior to 12 months to 14 ng/ml by 14 months. Histology showed that A beta plaques and CAA began to be discernible in the tg2576 mice at about 9 and 20 months of age, respectively.


ApoE was immunocytochemically detected in neuritic plaques that were positive for thioflavine-S. We suggest that the elevation of brain apoE in tg2576 mice participates in an age-related dysregulation of A beta clearance and signals the start of A beta sequestration during the time of cognitive dysfunction.

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