Amyloid P component (AP), a plasma constituent normally not found in brain arenchyma, has been immunohistochemically determined in brains from patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Tissue came from 11 clinically diagnosed and neuropathologically verified AD patients and from 6 normal aged controls. Positive labeling for AP was observed in amyloidotic blood vessels, senile plaques (SP) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT). The immunoreactivity was specific for these AD-associated lesions and clearly revealed their morphological appearance. Affected blood vessels appeared to be mainly of the arteriolar types and were labeled abluminally in short segments. SP constituents such as amyloid fibrils, anyloid core and degenerative axonal and dendritic processes were positive for AP antiserum; the morphology and distribution of immunoreactive SP corresponded to previous descriptions. Labeling of NFT revealed the morphology of paired helical and straight filaments. In all cerebral areas studied, tangle-bearing neurons were immunoreactive to AP antiserum, suggesting that AP is involved in early cellular development of NFT. Given the large molecular weight of AP (about 220,000), these results point to a potential impairment of the blood-brain barrier in AD. Since AP is always present in systemic amyloidosis, its detection in cerebral amyloidosis associated with AD may suggest mechanisms common to the two disorders.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Amyloid P component
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience