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Ann Neurol. 1993 Oct;34(4):551-60.

beta-Amyloid precursor epitopes in muscle fibers of inclusion body myositis.

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Department of Neurology University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90017-1912.


Sporadic inclusion body myositis (IBM) and hereditary inclusion body myopathy (hIBM) are severe and progressive muscle diseases, characterized pathologically by vacuolated muscle fibers that contain 15- to 21-nm cytoplasmic tubulofilaments (CTFs). Those vacuolated muscle fibers also contain abnormally accumulated ubiquitin and beta-amyloid protein (A beta), and they contain amyloid in beta-pleated sheets as indicated by Congo red and crystal violet positivity. Using several well-characterized antibodies, we have now demonstrated that, in addition to A beta, two other epitopes, N-terminal and C-terminal, of the beta-amyloid precursor protein (beta PP) are abnormally accumulated in IBM vacuolated muscle fibers and similarly in hIBM. At the light microscopy level, immunoreactivities of N- and C-epitopes of beta PP closely colocalized with A beta and ubiquitin immunoreactivities. However, by immunogold electronmicroscopy, even though N-, C-, and A beta epitopes of beta PP and ubiquitin colocalized at the amorphous and dense floccular structures, only A beta was localized to the 6- to 10-nm amyloid-like fibrils and only ubiquitin was localized to CTFs. beta PP immunoreactive structures were often in proximity to CTFs, but CTFs themselves never contained beta PP immunoreactivities. The fact that A beta but not C- or N-terminal epitopes of beta PP localized to the 6- to 10-nm amyloid-like fibrils suggests that free A beta might be generated during beta PP processing and, after aggregation, may be responsible for the amyloid present within IBM muscle fibers. Our study demonstrates that three epitopes of beta PP accumulate abnormally in diseased human muscle, and therefore this phenomenon is not unique to Alzheimer's disease, Down's syndrome brain, and Dutch-type cerebrovascular amyloidosis.

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