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Arch Neurol. 2008 Jul;65(7):906-12. doi: 10.1001/archneur.65.7.906.

Distinct pools of beta-amyloid in Alzheimer disease-affected brain: a clinicopathologic study.

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Departments of Neurology, Columbia University Medical Center, 630 W 168th St, P&S Box 16, New York, NY 10032, USA.



To determine whether beta-amyloid (Abeta) peptides segregated into distinct biochemical compartments would differentially correlate with clinical severity of Alzheimer disease (AD).


Clinicopathologic correlation study.


Twenty-seven patients from a longitudinal study of AD and 13 age- and sex-matched controls without a known history of cognitive impairment or dementia were included in this study.


Temporal and cingulate neocortex were processed using a 4-step extraction, yielding biochemical fractions that are hypothesized to be enriched with proteins from distinct anatomical compartments: TRIS (extracellular soluble), Triton (intracellular soluble), sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) (membrane associated), and formic acid (extracellular insoluble). Levels of Abeta(40) and Abeta(42) were quantified in each biochemical compartment by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


The Abeta(42) level in all biochemical compartments was significantly elevated in patients with AD vs controls (P < .01). The Abeta(40) levels in the TRIS and formic acid fractions were elevated in patients with AD (temporal, P < .01; cingulate, P = .03); however, Triton and SDS Abeta(40) levels were similar in patients with AD and in controls. Functional impairment proximal to death correlated with Triton Abeta(42) (r = 0.48, P = .02) and SDS Abeta(42) (r = 0.41, P = .04) in the temporal cortex. Faster cognitive decline was associated with elevated temporal SDS Abeta(42) levels (P < .001), whereas slower decline was associated with elevated cingulate formic acid Abeta(42) and SDS Abeta(42) levels (P = .02 and P = .01, respectively).


Intracellular and membrane-associated Abeta, especially Abeta(42) in the temporal neocortex, may be more closely related to AD symptoms than other measured Abeta species.

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