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Keywords:

  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • amyloid precursor protein;
  • senile plaques;
  • immunohistochemistry

Abstract

β-amyloid (Aβ) is the main constituent of senile plaques seen in Alzheimer's disease. Aβ is derived from the amyloid precursor protein (APP) via proteolytic cleavage by proteases β- and β-secretase. In this study, we examined content and localization of β-secretase-cleaved APP (β-sAPP) in brain tissue sections from the frontal, temporal and occipital lobe. Strong granular β-sAPP staining was found throughout the gray matter of all three areas, while white matter staining was considerably weaker. β-sAPP was found to be localized in astrocytes and in axons. We found the β-sAPP immunostaining to be stronger and more extensive in gray matter in Alzheimer disease (AD) cases than controls. The axonal β-sAPP staining was patchy and unevenly distributed for the AD cases, indicating impaired axonal transport. β-sAPP was also found surrounding senile plaques and cerebral blood vessels. The results presented here show altered β-sAPP staining in the AD brain, suggestive of abnormal processing and transport of APP.