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Neurobiol Dis. 2003 Oct;14(1):10-8.

Evidence for peripheral clearance of cerebral Abeta protein following chronic, active Abeta immunization in PSAPP mice.

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Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Immunization with amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease has been reported to decrease cerebral Abeta levels and improve behavioral deficits. Several mechanisms have been proposed, including antibody-induced phagocytosis of Abeta by cerebral microglia and increased efflux of Abeta from the brain to the periphery. The latter mechanism was suggested in mice undergoing acute, passive transfer of an Abeta monoclonal antibody. Here, PSAPP transgenic mice were actively immunized by a single intraperitoneal injection of synthetic Abeta followed by chronic intranasal administration of Abeta with the mucosal adjuvant, Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin, LT, twice weekly for 8 weeks. Serum from Abeta-immunized mice had an average of 240 microg/ml of anti-Abeta-specific antibodies; these antibodies had epitope(s) within Abeta1-15 and were of immunoglobulin (Ig) isotypes IgG2b, IgG2a, and IgG1. Immunization led to a 75% decrease in plaque number (P < 0.0001) and a 58% decrease in Abetax-42 levels (P < 0.026) in brain, and gliosis and neuritic dystrophy were diminished. No pathological effects of the immunization were observed in kidney, spleen, or snout. Serum Abeta levels increased 28-fold in immunized mice (53.06 ng/ml) compared to controls (1.87 ng/ml). Most of the Abeta in the serum of the immunized mice was bound to antibodies. We conclude that following active immunization, anti-Abeta antibodies sequester serum Abeta and may increase central nervous system to serum Abeta clearance.

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