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J Neurochem. 1987 Nov;49(5):1394-401.

Amyloid angiopathy of Alzheimer's disease: amino acid composition and partial sequence of a 4,200-dalton peptide isolated from cortical microvessels.

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  • 1Brain Research Institute, UCLA School of Medicine 90024.


The cardinal lesions of Alzheimer's disease are neurofibrillary tangles, senile neuritic plaques, and vascular amyloid, the latter generally involving cortical arteries and small arterioles. All three lesions are composed of amyloid-like, beta-pleated sheet fibrils. Recently, a 4,200-dalton peptide has been isolated from extraparenchymal meningeal vessels, neuritic plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles. The assumption of N-terminal homogeneity in vascular amyloid has been used as an argument for a neuronal (versus blood) origin of the peptide. However, intracortical microvessels from Alzheimer's disease have not been previously isolated. The present studies describe the isolation of a microvessel fraction from Alzheimer's disease and control fresh autopsy human brain. Alzheimer's disease isolated brain microvessels that were extensively laden with amyloid and control microvessels were solubilized in 90% formic acid and analyzed by urea sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The arteriole fraction from the Alzheimer's subject with extensive amyloid angiopathy contained a unique 4,200-dalton peptide, whereas the arterioles or capillaries isolated from two controls and two Alzheimer's disease subjects without angiopathy did not. This peptide was purified by HPLC and amino acid composition analysis showed the peptide is nearly identical to the 4,200-dalton peptide recently isolated from neuritic plaques or from neurofibrillary tangles. Sequence analysis revealed N-terminal heterogeneity. The N-terminal sequence was: Asp-Ala-Glu-Phe-Arg-His-Asp-Ser-Gly-Tyr, which is identical to the N-terminal sequence of the 4,200-dalton peptide isolated previously from extraparenchymal meningeal vessels and neuritic plaques.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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