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Biomol Concepts. 2017 Mar 1;8(1):45-84. doi: 10.1515/bmc-2016-0025.

Alzheimer's and Danish dementia peptides induce cataract and perturb retinal architecture in rats.


Familial Danish dementias (FDDs) are autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorders that are associated with visual defects. In some aspects, FDD is similar to Alzheimer's disease (AD)- the amyloid deposits in FDD and AD are made of short peptides: amyloid β (Aβ) in AD and ADan in FDD. Previously, we demonstrated an interaction between the dementia peptides and α-crystallin leading to lens opacification in organ culture due to impaired chaperone activity of α-crystallin. Herein, we report the in vivo effects of ADan and Aβ on the eye. ADan [reduced (ADan-red) and oxidized (ADan-oxi)] and Aβ (Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42) were injected intravitreally in rats. The onset of cataract was seen after injection of all the peptides, but the cataract matured by 2 weeks in the case of ADan-red, 5 weeks for ADan-oxi and 6 weeks for Aβ1-40, while Aβ1-42 had minimal effect on cataract progression. The severity of cataract is associated with insolubilization and alterations in crystallins and loss of chaperone activity of α-crystallin. Further, disruption of the architecture of the retina was evident from a loss of rhodopsin, increased gliosis, and the thinning of the retina. These results provide a basis for the dominant heredo-otoophthalmo-encephalopathy (HOOE)/FDD syndrome and indicate that ADan peptides are more potent than Aβpeptides in inflicting visual impairment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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