University of Illinois at Chicago
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Intraneuronal Aβ detection in 5xFAD mice by a new Aβ-specific antibody

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posted on 2012-10-02, 00:00 authored by Katherine L. Youmans, Leon M. Tai, Takahisa Kanekiyo, W Blaine Stine Jr, Sara-Claude Michon, Evelyn Nwabuisi-Heath, Arlene M. Manelli, Yifan Fu, Sean Riordan, William A Eimer, Lester Binder, Guojun Bu, Chunjiang Yu, Dean M. Hartley, Mary Jo LaDu
Background: The form(s) of amyloid-b peptide (Ab) associated with the pathology characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) remains unclear. In particular, the neurotoxicity of intraneuronal Ab accumulation is an issue of considerable controversy; even the existence of Ab deposits within neurons has recently been challenged by Winton and co-workers. These authors purport that it is actually intraneuronal APP that is being detected by antibodies thought to be specific for Ab. To further address this issue, an anti-Ab antibody was developed (MOAB- 2) that specifically detects Ab, but not APP. This antibody allows for the further evaluation of the early accumulation of intraneuronal Ab in transgenic mice with increased levels of human Ab in 5xFAD and 3xTg mice. Results: MOAB-2 (mouse IgG2b) is a pan-specific, high-titer antibody to Ab residues 1-4 as demonstrated by biochemical and immunohistochemical analyses (IHC), particularly compared to 6E10 (a commonly used commercial antibody to Ab residues 3-8). MOAB-2 did not detect APP or APP-CTFs in cell culture media/lysates (HEK-APPSwe or HEK-APPSwe/BACE1) or in brain homogenates from transgenic mice expressing 5 familial AD (FAD) mutation (5xFAD mice). Using IHC on 5xFAD brain tissue, MOAB-2 immunoreactivity co-localized with C-terminal antibodies specific for Ab40 and Ab42. MOAB-2 did not co-localize with either N- or C-terminal antibodies to APP. In addition, no MOAB-2-immunreactivity was observed in the brains of 5xFAD/BACE-/- mice, although significant amounts of APP were detected by N- and C-terminal antibodies to APP, as well as by 6E10. In both 5xFAD and 3xTg mouse brain tissue, MOAB-2 co-localized with cathepsin-D, a marker for acidic organelles, further evidence for intraneuronal Ab, distinct from Ab associated with the cell membrane. MOAB-2 demonstrated strong intraneuronal and extra-cellular immunoreactivity in 5xFAD and 3xTg mouse brain tissues. Conclusions: Both intraneuronal Ab accumulation and extracellular Ab deposition was demonstrated in 5xFAD mice and 3xTg mice with MOAB-2, an antibody that will help differentiate intracellular Ab from APP. However, further investigation is required to determine whether a molecular mechanism links the presence of intraneuronal Ab with neurotoxicity. As well, understanding the relevance of these observations to human AD patients is critical.


This work was supported by Alzheimer’s Association ZEN-08-899000 (MJL), UIC CCTS UL1RR029879 (MJL), NIH/NIA PO1AG030128 (MJL), P01AG030128- 03S1 (EN-H), NIH/NIA T32-AG06697 (KY), Alzheimer’s Association IIRG- 09133359 (DMH), Edwin F. Schild Family Foundation (DMH).


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© 2012 Youmans et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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