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Neurodegener Dis. 2015;15(1):50-7. doi: 10.1159/000369465. Epub 2015 Jan 13.

Brain amyloid-beta fragment signatures in pathological ageing and Alzheimer's disease by hybrid immunoprecipitation mass spectrometry.

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Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Mölndal, Sweden.



Senile plaques in Alzheimer's disease (AD) are composed of amyloid-β (Aβ), especially N-truncated forms including Aβ4-42. These are thought to be neurotoxic. However, individuals may live for decades with biomarker evidence of cerebral β-amyloidosis (positive amyloid PET imaging and/or low cerebrospinal fluid levels of the 42 amino acid form of Aβ) without cognitive impairment. This condition may be termed pathological ageing (PA).


To investigate whether there is a difference in the cerebral Aβ fragment pattern in brain specimens from non-demented (PA) and demented (AD) individuals expressing the full neuropathological triad of AD (senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles and neurodegeneration).


We extracted Aβ using formic acid and hybrid (6E10 and 4G8) immunoprecipitation from fresh-frozen temporal cortex tissue of 6 elderly individuals (mean age ± SD: 89 ± 3.5 years) with PA and 10 patients with AD (mean age ± SD: 72 ± 8.5 years). The full spectrum of Aβ peptides was determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry.


AD patients had generally more N-terminally truncated and pyroglutamate-modified Aβ than PA patients, whereas PA patients had on average more Aβ1-40 than AD patients.


Senile plaques in AD may have an Aβ fragment composition distinct from PA with more N-terminally and pyroglutamate-modified Aβ peptides that may be linked to neurotoxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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