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Brain Pathol. 2008 Oct;18(4):548-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3639.2008.00152.x. Epub 2008 Apr 11.

Heparan sulfate accumulation with Abeta deposits in Alzheimer's disease and Tg2576 mice is contributed by glial cells.

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Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Division of Molecular Geriatrics, Rudbeck Laboratory, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.


Amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) plaques, one of the major neuropathological lesions in Alzheimer's disease (AD), can be broadly subdivided into two morphological categories: neuritic and diffuse. Heparan sulfate (HS) and HS proteoglycans (HSPGs) are codeposits of multiple amyloidoses, including AD. Although HS has been considered a limiting factor in the initiation of amyloid deposition, the pathological implications of HS in Abeta deposits of AD remain unclear. In this study, immunohistochemistry combined with fluorescence and confocal microscopy was employed to gain deeper insight into the accumulation of HS with Abeta plaques in sporadic and familial AD. Here we demonstrate that HS preferentially accumulated around the Abeta40 dense cores of neuritic plaques, but was largely absent from diffuse Abeta42 plaques, suggesting that Abeta42 deposition may occur independently of HS. A codeposition pattern of HS with Abeta deposits in Tg2576 mice was also examined. We identified the membrane-bound HSPGs, glypican-1 (GPC1) and syndecan-3 (SDC3), in glial cells associated with Abeta deposits, proximal to sites of HS accumulation. In mouse primary glial cultures, we observed increased levels of GPC1 and SDC3 following Abeta stimulation. These results suggest that HS codeposits with Abeta40 in neuritic plaques and is mainly derived from glial cells.

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