Secretion of Alzheimer's disease Abeta amyloid peptide by activated human platelets

Lab Invest. 1998 Apr;78(4):461-9.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by the deposition of Abeta (betaA4) peptides of 39 to 43 amino acid residues, which are normal cellular metabolic products derived by proteolysis of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). The physiologic function of Abeta/APP in vivo is poorly understood. We analyzed human platelets for Abeta production by immunoprecipitation coupled to immunoblotting. A 4-kd Abeta fragment that comigrates with an Abeta40 synthetic peptide and reacts with several antibodies specific for the N- and C-termini of Abeta is detected. The majority of platelet Abeta appears to end at residue 40, as determined by immunoreactivity with an Abeta40-specific antibody. Furthermore, Abeta is secreted upon platelet stimulation with the physiologic agonists thrombin and collagen, together with secretion of soluble APP (sAPP). A comparison between serum and plasma shows a 1.6-fold increase in Abeta levels and a 2.4-fold increase in sAPP levels in serum. This is consistent with the view that platelets are the primary source of circulating Abeta and APP. The release of platelet Abeta by physiologic stimuli suggests that it may play a role in platelet aggregation and coagulation or in the repair mechanisms associated with injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / blood
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism*
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Platelet Activation*


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides