Findings of early cerebral amyloid-β deposition in mice after peripheral injection of amyloid-β-containing brain extracts, and in humans following cadaveric human growth hormone treatment raised concerns that amyloid-β aggregates and possibly Alzheimer's disease may be transmissible between individuals. Yet, proof that Aβ actually reaches the brain from the peripheral injection site is lacking. Here, we use a proteomic approach combining stable isotope labeling of mammals and targeted mass spectrometry. Specifically, we generate 13 C-isotope-labeled brain extracts from mice expressing human amyloid-β and track 13 C-lysine-labeled amyloid-β after intraperitoneal administration into young amyloid precursor protein-transgenic mice. We detect injected amyloid-β in the liver and lymphoid tissues for up to 100 days. In contrast, injected 13 C-lysine-labeled amyloid-β is not detectable in the brain whereas the mice incorporate 13 C-lysine from the donor brain extracts into endogenous amyloid-β. Using a highly sensitive and specific proteomic approach, we demonstrate that amyloid-β does not reach the brain from the periphery. Our study argues against potential transmissibility of Alzheimer's disease while opening new avenues to uncover mechanisms of pathophysiological protein deposition.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; brain; multiple reaction monitoring immuno-mass spectrometry; prion-like; seeding.
© 2022 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY NC ND 4.0 license.