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Am J Pathol. 1998 Dec;153(6):1679-86.

Transgenic mice over-expressing the C-99 fragment of betaPP with an alpha-secretase site mutation develop a myopathy similar to human inclusion body myositis.

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Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195-6480, USA.


Inclusion body myositis (IBM) is the most common muscle disease in the elderly. Amyloid-beta protein (A beta) has been shown to accumulate abnormally in the vacuolated fibers and to localize to amyloid-like fibrils in muscles from IBM patients. We studied the skeletal muscles from a line of transgenic mice over-expressing the carboxyl-terminal 99 amino acids (C99) of the beta-amyloid precursor protein (betaPP) with a substitution of lysine-612 to valine (K612V), intended to abolish alpha-secretase recognition and to preserve the A beta domain of C99. The majority (87%) of the 24-month-old transgenic mice showed myopathic changes, and approximately one-third of them had degenerating fibers with sarcoplasmic vacuoles and thioflavin-S-positive deposits. Ultrastructurally, the inclusions were aggregates of short thin amyloid-like fibrils, 6 to 8 nm in diameter. These features are similar to those of human IBM. Immunocytochemistry using an antibody against A beta showed membranous staining in most muscle fibers of transgenic mice, as well as granular or vacuolar cytoplasmic staining in the atrophic fibers. Western blots showed a high level of accumulation of carboxyl-terminal fragments of betaPP in the muscles of the transgenic mice with the most severe IBM-like lesions. The expression of IBM-like lesions was age dependent. These transgenic mice provide a model for the study of IBM and for the peripheral expression of a key element in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease.

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