Generation of antibodies specific for beta-amyloid by vaccination of patients with Alzheimer disease

Nat Med. 2002 Nov;8(11):1270-5. doi: 10.1038/nm783. Epub 2002 Oct 15.


To characterize antibodies produced in humans in response to Abeta42 vaccination, we carried out immunohistochemical examinations of the brains of both transgenic mice and human patients with beta-amyloid pathology. We collected sera from patients with Alzheimer disease who received a primary injection of pre-aggregated Abeta42 followed by one booster injection in a placebo-controlled study. Antibodies in immune sera recognized beta-amyloid plaques, diffuse Abeta deposits and vascular beta-amyloid in brain blood vessels. The antibodies did not cross-react with native full-length beta-amyloid precursor protein or its physiological derivatives, including soluble Abeta42. These findings indicate that vaccination of AD patients with Abeta42 induces antibodies that have a high degree of selectivity for the pathogenic target structures. Whether vaccination to produce antibodies against beta-amyloid will halt the cognitive decline in AD will depend upon clinical assessments over time.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Alzheimer Vaccines / immunology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / blood
  • Antibodies / immunology*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cross Reactions
  • DNA Primers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immune Sera
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic


  • Alzheimer Vaccines
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Antibodies
  • DNA Primers
  • Immune Sera