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Neuron. 1994 Jan;12(1):219-34.

An important role of heparan sulfate proteoglycan (Perlecan) in a model system for the deposition and persistence of fibrillar A beta-amyloid in rat brain.

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Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


A consistent rat model for the study of the consequences of congophilic and fibrillar A beta-amyloid in brain has been developed. One hundred percent of animals receiving infusions of synthetic beta-amyloid protein (A beta 1-40) plus a specific heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) for 1 week or 7 weeks (following 2 week infusions) demonstrated Congo red and thioflavin S-positive deposits adjacent to the infusion site. Extracellular amyloid fibrils were identified by electron microscopy and were immunogold decorated with A beta antibody. Significant increases in Congo red staining were observed in animals infused with A beta plus HSPG versus those infused with only A beta. Infusion of A beta alone was variable with respect to congophilic amyloid persistence, which occurred in 50% of animals and only when endogenous HSPGs accumulated at A beta deposition sites. By 7 weeks, only animals infused with A beta plus HSPG demonstrated compaction of the Congo red material from amorphous, wispy deposits (at 1 week) to stellate deposits resembling a Maltese cross. These spherical amyloid deposits were very similar to Congo red-stained amyloid plaques in human Alzheimer's disease brain, and in vitro data suggest that they were probably formed in vivo following interactions with endogenous brain components.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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