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Neurobiol Aging. 1990 Mar-Apr;11(2):123-9.

Alpha 1-antichymotrypsin is associated solely with amyloid deposits containing the beta-protein. Amyloid and cell localization of alpha 1-antichymotrypsin.

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Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.


Our recent studies demonstrated that alpha 1-antichymotrypsin (ACT), a serine protease inhibitor, was associated with the beta-protein in the brain amyloid deposits of Alzheimer's disease, aged human controls and aged monkeys, suggesting a role for the inhibitor in the amyloid deposition. In the present study we used immunohistochemistry to test for the presence of ACT in the amyloid deposits which contain, as their major component, a protein different from the beta-protein. ACT was not found in the amyloid deposits in primary or secondary amyloidosis, familial and amyloidotic polyneuropathy or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (non-beta-protein amyloidoses), but was found (together with beta-protein) in Alzheimer's disease, Down's syndrome, normal aging, and hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis of Dutch origin. These results suggest a specific association of ACT with beta-protein amyloid. We next examined the distribution of the inhibitor in normal human brain and in various human neuropathological states in order to identify cells that express this protein during brain degeneration. In addition to its association with amyloid, ACT immunoreactivity was also located in astrocytes near areas of neuronal or tissue loss, in a few neurons and pericytes and in the epithelium of the choroid plexus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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