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CNS amyloid proteins in neurodegenerative diseases

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • G W Roberts
  • R Lofthouse
  • D Allsop
  • M Landon
  • M Kidd
  • S B Prusiner
  • T J Crow
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1988
Issue number10
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)1534-40
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The amyloid plaques found in neurodegenerative diseases show considerable morphologic diversity. Two amyloidogenic proteins have been isolated from the brains of humans and animals with neurodegenerative diseases--beta-protein from Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Down's syndrome, and prion protein (PrP) from scrapie and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Using monoclonal antibodies to a synthetic peptide corresponding to a portion of beta-protein and rabbit antiserum to hamster scrapie PrP 27-30, we examined in situ amyloid plaques on sections from cases of neurodegenerative diseases, including cases with a spectrum of plaque types. Anti-beta-peptide stained cerebrovascular and plaque core amyloid in all AD cases as well as cerebrovascular amyloid and senile plaque core amyloid in five elderly CJD cases. Anti-PrP stained plaques in CJD, kuru, and Gerstmann-Sträussler syndrome cases but not cerebrovascular amyloid or plaques in AD. Dual localization experiments showed that in cases with a mixture of plaque types, the antibodies identified different populations of plaques that showed anatomic heterogeneity. Colocalization of the two proteins was not observed in any plaque type. The data suggest that in neurodegenerative diseases two major plaque types exist, which have different etiologic origins. Our results emphasize the need for classification of CNS amyloids based not on their morphology but on the macromolecular components comprising these pathologic polymers.