The Arctic (p. E693G) mutation in the amyloid-β precursor protein (AβPP) facilitates amyloid-β (Aβ) protofibril formation and generates clinical symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, molecular details of Aβ in post mortem brain were investigated with biochemical and morphological techniques. The basic structure of Arctic plaques resembled cotton wool plaques. However, they appeared ring-formed with Aβ42-specific antibodies, but were actually targetoid, since the periphery and center of many parenchymal Aβ deposits stained differently with mid-domain, N- and C-terminal Aβ antibodies. Aβ fibrils were similar in shape, albeit shorter than in sporadic AD brain, when examined by electron microscopy. Aβwild-type and Aβarctic codeposited and parenchymal deposits were highly enriched in both N- and C-terminally truncated Aβ. In contrast, cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) contained a substantial amount of Aβ1-40. The absence of plaques with cores of fibrillary Aβ might be due to the scarcity of full-length Aβ, although other mechanisms could be involved. Our findings are discussed in relation to mechanisms and relevance of amyloid formation and to the clinical features of AD.
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