|Positron emission tomography imaging of fibrillar parenchymal and vascular amyloid-β in TgCRND8 mice.|
McLean, Daniel, et al.
ACS Chem Neurosci, 4: 613-23 (2013)
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Few quantitative diagnostic and monitoring, tools are available to clinicians treating patients with Alzheimer's disease. Further, many of the promising quantitative imaging tools under development lack clear specificity toward different types of Amyloid-β (Aβ) pathology such as vascular or oligomeric species. Antibodies offer an opportunity to image specific types of Aβ pathology because of their excellent specificity. In this study, we developed a method to translate a panel of anti-Aβ antibodies, which show excellent histological performance, into live animal imaging contrast agents. In the TgCRND8 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, we tested two antibodies, M64 and M116, that target parenchyma aggregated Aβ plaques and one antibody, M31, that targets vascular Aβ. All three antibodies were administered intravenously after labeling with both poly(ethylene glycol) to enhance circulation and (64)Cu to allow detection via positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. We were clearly able to differentiate TgCRND8 mice from wild type controls by PET imaging using either M116, the anti-Aβ antibody targeting parenchymal Aβ or M31, the antivascular Aβ antibody. To confirm the validity of the noninvasive imaging of specific Aβ pathology, brains were examined after imaging and showed clear evidence of binding to Aβ plaques.
|Prion-like behaviour and tau-dependent cytotoxicity of pyroglutamylated amyloid-β.|
Nussbaum, Justin M, et al.
Nature, 485: 651-5 (2012)
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Extracellular plaques of amyloid-β and intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles made from tau are the histopathological signatures of Alzheimer's disease. Plaques comprise amyloid-β fibrils that assemble from monomeric and oligomeric intermediates, and are prognostic indicators of Alzheimer's disease. Despite the importance of plaques to Alzheimer's disease, oligomers are considered to be the principal toxic forms of amyloid-β. Interestingly, many adverse responses to amyloid-β, such as cytotoxicity, microtubule loss, impaired memory and learning, and neuritic degeneration, are greatly amplified by tau expression. Amino-terminally truncated, pyroglutamylated (pE) forms of amyloid-β are strongly associated with Alzheimer's disease, are more toxic than amyloid-β, residues 1-42 (Aβ(1-42)) and Aβ(1-40), and have been proposed as initiators of Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. Here we report a mechanism by which pE-Aβ may trigger Alzheimer's disease. Aβ(3(pE)-42) co-oligomerizes with excess Aβ(1-42) to form metastable low-n oligomers (LNOs) that are structurally distinct and far more cytotoxic to cultured neurons than comparable LNOs made from Aβ(1-42) alone. Tau is required for cytotoxicity, and LNOs comprising 5% Aβ(3(pE)-42) plus 95% Aβ(1-42) (5% pE-Aβ) seed new cytotoxic LNOs through multiple serial dilutions into Aβ(1-42) monomers in the absence of additional Aβ(3(pE)-42). LNOs isolated from human Alzheimer's disease brain contained Aβ(3(pE)-42), and enhanced Aβ(3(pE)-42) formation in mice triggered neuron loss and gliosis at 3 months, but not in a tau-null background. We conclude that Aβ(3(pE)-42) confers tau-dependent neuronal death and causes template-induced misfolding of Aβ(1-42) into structurally distinct LNOs that propagate by a prion-like mechanism. Our results raise the possibility that Aβ(3(pE)-42) acts similarly at a primary step in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis.