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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Nov 25;100(24):14193-8. Epub 2003 Nov 14.

In vivo reduction of amyloid-beta by a mutant copper transporter.

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Center for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3H2.


Cu ions have been suggested to enhance the assembly and pathogenic potential of the Alzheimer's disease amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide. To explore this relationship in vivo, toxic-milk (txJ) mice with a mutant ATPase7b transporter favoring elevated Cu levels were analyzed in combination with the transgenic (Tg) CRND8 amyloid precursor protein mice exhibiting robust Abeta deposition. Unexpectedly, TgCRND8 mice homozygous for the recessive txJ mutation examined at 6 months of age exhibited a reduced number of amyloid plaques and diminished plasma Abeta levels. In addition, homozygosity for txJ increased survival of young TgCRND8 mice and lowered endogenous CNS Abeta at times before detectable increases in Cu in the CNS. These data suggest that the beneficial effect of the txJ mutation on CNS Abeta burden may proceed by a previously undescribed mechanism, likely involving increased clearance of peripheral pools of Abeta peptide.

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