The vervet is an old world monkey increasingly being used as a model for human diseases. In addition to plaques and tangles, an additional hallmark of Alzheimer's disease is damage to neurons that synthesize noradrenaline (NA). We characterized amyloid burden in the posterior temporal lobe of young and aged vervets, and compared that with changes in NA levels and astrocyte activation. Total amyloid beta (Aβ)40 and Aβ42 levels were increased in the aged group, as were numbers of amyloid plaques detected using antibody 6E10. Low levels of Aβ42 were detected in 1 of 5 younger animals, although diffusely stained plaques were observed in 4 of these. Increased glial fibrillary acidic protein staining and messenger RNA levels were significantly correlated with increased age, as were cortical NA levels. Levels of Aβ42 and Aβ40, and the number of 6E10-positive plaques, were correlated with NA levels. Interestingly messenger RNA levels of glial derived neurotrophic factor, important for noradrenergic neuronal survival, were reduced with age. These findings suggest that amyloid pathology in aged vervets is associated with astrocyte activation and higher NA levels.
Keywords: African Green monkey; Alzheimer's disease; Amyloid; Noradrenaline; Vervet.
Published by Elsevier Inc.