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J Neuroinflammation. 2012 May 29;9:105. doi: 10.1186/1742-2094-9-105.

Effects of human intravenous immunoglobulin on amyloid pathology and neuroinflammation in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

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A. I. Virtanen Institute, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.



Human intravenous immunoglobulin (hIVIG) preparation is indicated for treating primary immunodeficiency disorders associated with impaired humoral immunity. hIVIG is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and a decent safety profile. Therefore, by virtue of its constituent natural anti-amyloid beta antibodies and anti-inflammatory effects, hIVIG is deemed to mediate beneficial effects to patients of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we set out to explore the effects of hIVIG in a mouse model of AD.


We treated APP/PS1dE9 transgenic and wild-type mice with weekly injections of a high hIVIG dose (1 g/kg) or saline for 3 or 8 months. Treatment effect on brain amyloid pathology and microglial reactivity was assessed by ELISA, immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR, and confocal microscopy.


We found no evidence for reduction in Aβ pathology; instead 8 months of hIVIG treatment significantly increased soluble levels of Aβ40 and Aβ42. In addition, we noticed a significant reduction in CD45 and elevation of Iba-1 markers in specific sub-populations of microglial cells. Long-term hIVIG treatment also resulted in significant suppression of TNF-α and increase in doublecortin positive adult-born neurons in the dentate gyrus.


Our data indicate limited ability of hIVIG to impact amyloid burden but shows changes in microglia, pro-inflammatory gene expression, and neurogenic effects. Immunomodulation by hIVIG may account for its beneficial effect in AD patients.

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