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Pyroglutamate-3 amyloid-β deposition in the brains of humans, non-human primates, canines, and Alzheimer disease–like transgenic mouse models

: Frost, Jeffrey L.; Le, Kevin X.; Cynis, H.; Ekpo, Elisabeth; Kleinschmidt, Martin; Palmour, Roberta M.; Ervin, Frank R.; Snigdha, Shikha; Cotman, Carl W.; Saido, Takaomi C.; Vassar, Robert J.; George-Hyslop, Peter S.; Ikezu, Tsuneya; Schilling, Stephan; Demuth, Hans-Ulrich; Lemere, Cynthia A.


The American journal of pathology 183 (2013), No.2, pp.369-381
ISSN: 0002-9440
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IZI ()

Amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, starting with pyroglutamate at the third residue (pyroGlu-3 Aβ), are a major species deposited in the brain of Alzheimer disease (AD) patients. Recent studies suggest that this isoform shows higher toxicity and amyloidogenecity when compared to full-length Aβ peptides. Here, we report the first comprehensive and comparative IHC evaluation of pyroGlu-3 Aβ deposition in humans and animal models. PyroGlu-3 Aβ immunoreactivity (IR) is abundant in plaques and cerebral amyloid angiopathy of AD and Down syndrome patients, colocalizing with general Aβ IR. PyroGlu-3 Aβ is further present in two nontransgenic mammalian models of cerebral amyloidosis, Caribbean vervets, and beagle canines. In addition, pyroGlu-3 Aβ deposition was analyzed in 12 different AD-like transgenic mouse models. In contrast to humans, all transgenic models showed general Aβ deposition preceding pyroGlu-3 Aβ deposition. The findings varied greatly among the mouse models concerning age of onset and cortical brain region. In summary, pyroGlu-3 Aβ is a major species of β-amyloid deposited early in diffuse and focal plaques and cerebral amyloid angiopathy in humans and nonhuman primates, whereas it is deposited later in a subset of focal and vascular amyloid in AD-like transgenic mouse models. Given the proposed decisive role of pyroGlu-3 Aβ peptides for the development of human AD pathology, this study provides insights into the usage of animal models in AD studies.