Significance of intracellular Abeta42 accumulation in Alzheimer's disease

Front Biosci. 2002 Apr 1;7:a44-9. doi: 10.2741/tabira.


Abeta plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but it is still obscure how it causes AD. We have established transgenic mice carrying wild-type or familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD) mutant-type presenilin 1 (PS1). In these mice, the number of cortical and hippocampal neurons decreased along with age in mutant mice. In addition, the old mutant mice showed a significant increase of dark neurons by silver staining and the number of neurons with intracellular Abeta42 by immunohistochemistry. Our extended study also showed a significant increase of intracellular Abeta42-positive neurons in isolated cases of AD as well as in PS1 mutant FAD cases. These neurons frequently showed apoptotic staining. However, coincidence of apoptotic markers and intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) was insignificant. Notably intraneuronal Abeta42-labeling was frequently seen in a case of AD showing cotton-wool type senile plaques with a few NFT positive neurons and dystrophic neurites. These results indicate that intraneuronal deposition of Abeta42 is important in the pathogenesis of AD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / immunology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism*
  • Presenilin-1


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Membrane Proteins
  • PSEN1 protein, human
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Presenilin-1
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-42)