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J Neurosci. 2002 Nov 15;22(22):9794-9.

Disruption of corticocortical connections ameliorates amyloid burden in terminal fields in a transgenic model of Abeta amyloidosis.

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Department of Pathology (Division of Neuropathology), The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


We demonstrated previously that amyloid precursor protein (APP) is anterogradely transported from the entorhinal cortex (ERC) to the dentate gyrus via axons of the perforant pathway. In the terminal fields of these inputs, APP undergoes proteolysis to generate C-terminal fragments containing the entire amyloid beta peptide (Abeta) domain. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that APP derived from ERC neurons is the source of the Abeta peptide deposited in the hippocampal dentate gyrus in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in transgenic mice with Abeta amyloidosis. We used mice harboring two familial AD-linked genes (human APP Swedish and presenilin1-DeltaE9), in which levels of Abeta (especially Abeta(42)) are elevated, leading to the formation of amyloid plaques, and lesioned the ERC to interrupt the transport of APP from ERC to hippocampus. Our results show that, on the side of ERC lesion, numbers of APP-immunoreactive dystrophic neurites and Abeta burden were significantly reduced by approximately 40 and 45%, respectively, in the dentate gyrus compared with the contralateral side. Reductions in APP and Abeta were more substantial in the molecular layer of the dentate, i.e., a region that contains the ERC terminals, and were associated with a parallel decrease in total APP and Abeta measured by Western blot and ProteinChip immunoassays. Silver and thioflavine staining confirmed the reduction of amyloid plaques on the side of deafferentation. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that ERC may be the primary source of amyloidogenic Abeta in the dentate gyrus, and they suggest an important role of corticocortical and corticolimbic forward connections in determining patterns of amyloid deposition in AD.

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