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Brain Res. 2000 Mar 10;858(2):237-51.

Distribution of beta-amyloid and amyloid precursor protein in the brain of spawning (senescent) salmon: a natural, brain-aging model.

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Laboratory of Comparative Reproduction, Department of Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado, Campus Box 334, Boulder, CO 80309-0334, USA.


Brain amyloid precursor protein (APP), a normal constituent of neurons, glial cells and cerebrospinal fluid, has several proposed functions (e.g., in neuronal growth and survival). It appears, however, that altered processing of APP is an initial or downstream step in the neuropathology of brain aging, Alzheimer's disease (AD), and Down's syndrome (DS). Some studies suggest that proteolytic cleavage of APP, producing beta-amyloid (Abeta(1-42)), could have neurotoxic or neuroprotective effects. In this study, we utilized antibodies to human APP(695) and Abeta(1-42,) and Congo red staining, to search for amyloid deposition in the brain of semelparous spawning kokanee salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka kennerlyi). Intracellular APP(695) immunoreactivity (APP-ir) was observed in brain regions involved in gustation (glomerulosus complex), olfaction (putative hippocampus, olfactory bulb), vision (optic tectum), the stress response (nucleus preopticus and nucleus lateralis tuberis), reproductive behavior (nucleus preopticus magnocellularis, nucleus preopticus periventricularis, ventral telencephalon), and coordination (cerebellum). Intra- and extra-neuronal Abeta(1-42) immunoreactivity (Abeta-ir) were present in all APP-ir regions except the nucleus lateralis tuberis and Purkinje cells of the cerebellum (coordination). Thus, the relationship between APP and Abeta deposition during brain aging could shed light on the processing of APP into Abeta, neurodegeneration, and possible protection of neurons that are functioning in spawning but senescent salmon. Pacific salmon, with their predictable and synchronized life history, could provide research options not available with the existing models for studies of brain aging and amyloidosis.

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