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J Neurochem. 2005 Nov;95(3):834-47. Epub 2005 Aug 31.

Globular amyloid beta-peptide oligomer - a homogenous and stable neuropathological protein in Alzheimer's disease.

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Neuroscience Discovery Research, Abbott GmbH and Co. KG, Ludwigshafen, Germany.


Amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta)(1-42) oligomers have recently been discussed as intermediate toxic species in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology. Here we describe a new and highly stable Abeta(1-42) oligomer species which can easily be prepared in vitro and is present in the brains of patients with AD and Abeta(1-42)-overproducing transgenic mice. Physicochemical characterization reveals a pure, highly water-soluble globular 60-kDa oligomer which we named 'Abeta(1-42) globulomer'. Our data indicate that Abeta(1-42) globulomer is a persistent structural entity formed independently of the fibrillar aggregation pathway. It is a potent antigen in mice and rabbits eliciting generation of Abeta(1-42) globulomer-specific antibodies that do not cross-react with amyloid precursor protein, Abeta(1-40) and Abeta(1-42) monomers and Abeta fibrils. Abeta(1-42) globulomer binds specifically to dendritic processes of neurons but not glia in hippocampal cell cultures and completely blocks long-term potentiation in rat hippocampal slices. Our data suggest that Abeta(1-42) globulomer represents a basic pathogenic structural principle also present to a minor extent in previously described oligomer preparations and that its formation is an early pathological event in AD. Selective neutralization of the Abeta globulomer structure epitope is expected to have a high potential for treatment of AD.

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