Semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase (SSAO) and its possible contribution to vascular damage in Alzheimer's disease

J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2007;114(6):857-62. doi: 10.1007/s00702-007-0701-0. Epub 2007 Mar 29.


One of the key pathological features of the progressive neurodegenerative disorder Alzheimer's disease (AD) is cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). CAA is present in most cases of AD, and it is characterized by the deposition of beta-amyloid (Abeta) in brain vessels, inducing the degeneration of vascular smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells. Herein we report that semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase (SSAO) is overexpressed in cerebrovascular tissue of patients with AD-CAA, and that it colocalizes with beta-amyloid deposits. This over-expression correlates with high SSAO activity in plasma of severe AD patients. In addition, we have observed that the catalytic activity of SSAO is able to induce apoptosis in smooth muscle cells in vitro. Taken together, these results allow us to postulate that SSAO may contribute to the vascular damage associated to AD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / enzymology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Amine Oxidase (Copper-Containing) / blood*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Brain / enzymology*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy / enzymology*
  • Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Arteries / enzymology*
  • Cerebral Arteries / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / enzymology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / pathology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Plaque, Amyloid / metabolism
  • Plaque, Amyloid / pathology
  • Rats
  • Up-Regulation / physiology


  • Biomarkers
  • Amine Oxidase (Copper-Containing)