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Ann Neurol. 1995 Sep;38(3):421-8.

Amyloid beta-proteins 1-40 and 1-42(43) in the soluble fraction of extra- and intracranial blood vessels.

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Department of Neuropathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.


To investigate the process of amyloid beta-protein (A beta) accumulation in cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), the levels of A beta were determined in the soluble fraction of extra- and intracranial blood vessels and leptomeninges obtained at autopsy. Two enzyme immunoassays were employed that are known to sensitively and specifically quantify two A beta species, A beta 1-40 and 1-42(43). A beta was detectable in the intracranial blood vessels and leptomeninges with the latter containing the highest levels, while it was undetectable in the extracranial blood vessels. Thus the levels of soluble A beta correlated well with the predilection sites for CAA. Among individuals aged 20 to 90, the A beta levels in the leptomeninges increased sharply in those aged 50 to 70 and thereafter tended to decline. However, only slight degrees of CAA were detected by immunocytochemistry, even when those leptomeninges contained high levels of A beta comparable with those in Alzheimer's disease. The level of A beta 1-42 was almost always severalfold that of A beta 1-40 in the soluble fraction of leptomeninges. This is in good agreement with the immunocytochemical result showing the presence of A beta 40-negative, A beta 42(43)-positive meningeal vessels. These results indicate that A beta 1-42 is the initially deposited species in CAA and that the disruption of A beta homeostasis precedes A beta deposition in the meningeal vessels.

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