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J Mol Biol. 2004 Jan 23;335(4):997-1006.

Effect of different anti-Abeta antibodies on Abeta fibrillogenesis as assessed by atomic force microscopy.

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Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, 4400 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


Extensive data suggest that the conversion of the amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide from soluble to insoluble forms is a key factor in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In recent years, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has provided useful insights into the physicochemical processes involving Abeta morphology, and it can now be used to explore factors that either inhibit or promote fibrillogenesis. We used ex situ AFM to explore the impact of anti-Abeta antibodies directed against different domains of Abeta on fibril formation. For the AFM studies, two monoclonal antibodies (m3D6 and m266.2) were incubated in solution with Abeta(1-42) with a molar ratio of 1:10 (antibody to Abeta) over several days. Fibril formation was analyzed quantitatively by determining the number of fibrils per microm(2) and by aggregate size analysis. m3D6, which is directed against an N-terminal domain of Abeta (amino acid residues 1-5) slowed down fibril formation. However, m266.2, which is directed against the central domain of Abeta (amino acid residues 13-28) appeared to completely prevent the formation of fibrils over the course of the experiment. Inhibition of fibril formation by both antibodies was also confirmed by thioflavin-T (ThT) fluorescence experiments carried out with Abeta(1-40) incubated for five days. However, unlike AFM results, ThT did not differentiate between the samples incubated with m3D6 versus m266.2. These results indicate that AFM can be not only reliably used to study the effect of different molecules on Abeta aggregation, but that it can provide additional information such as the role of epitope specificity of antibodies as potential inhibitors of fibril formation.

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