2 research outputs found

    A fibril-specific, conformation-dependent antibody recognizes a subset of Aβ plaques in Alzheimer disease, Down syndrome and Tg2576 transgenic mouse brain

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    Beta-amyloid (Aβ) is thought to be a key contributor to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD) in the general population and in adults with Down syndrome (DS). Different assembly states of Aβ have been identified that may be neurotoxic. Aβ oligomers can assemble into soluble prefibrillar oligomers, soluble fibrillar oligomers and insoluble fibrils. Using a novel antibody, OC, recognizing fibrils and soluble fibrillar oligomers, we characterized fibrillar Aβ deposits in AD and DS cases. We further compared human specimens to those obtained from the Tg2576 mouse model of AD. Our results show that accumulation of fibrillar immunoreactivity is significantly increased in AD relative to nondemented aged subjects and those with select cognitive impairments (p < 0.0001). Further, there was a significant correlation between the extent of frontal cortex fibrillar deposit accumulation and dementia severity (MMSE r = −0.72). In DS, we observe an early age of onset and age-dependent accumulation of fibrillar OC immunoreactivity with little pathology in similarly aged non-DS individuals. Tg2576 mice show fibrillar accumulation that can be detected as young as 6 months. Interestingly, fibril-specific immunoreactivity was observed in diffuse, thioflavine S-negative Aβ deposits in addition to more mature neuritic plaques. These results suggest that fibrillar deposits are associated with disease in both AD and in adults with DS and their distribution within early Aβ pathology associated with diffuse plaques and correlation with MMSE suggest that these deposits may not be as benign as previously thought

    Twenty-first century brain banking. Processing brains for research: the Columbia University methods

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    Carefully categorized postmortem human brains are crucial for research. The lack of generally accepted methods for processing human postmortem brains for research persists. Thus, brain banking is essential; however, it cannot be achieved at the cost of the teaching mission of the academic institution by routing brains away from residency programs, particularly when the autopsy rate is steadily decreasing. A consensus must be reached whereby a brain can be utilizable for diagnosis, research, and teaching. The best diagnostic categorization possible must be secured and the yield of samples for basic investigation maximized. This report focuses on integrated, novel methods currently applied at the New York Brain Bank, Columbia University, New York, which are designed to reach accurate neuropathological diagnosis, optimize the yield of samples, and process fresh-frozen samples suitable for a wide range of modern investigations. The brains donated for research are processed as soon as possible after death. The prosector must have a good command of the neuroanatomy, neuropathology, and the protocol. One half of each brain is immersed in formalin for performing the thorough neuropathologic evaluation, which is combined with the teaching task. The contralateral half is extensively dissected at the fresh state. The anatomical origin of each sample is recorded using the map of Brodmann for the cortical samples. The samples are frozen at −160°C, barcode labeled, and ready for immediate disbursement once categorized diagnostically. A rigorous organization of freezer space, coupled to an electronic tracking system with its attached software, fosters efficient access for retrieval within minutes of any specific frozen samples in storage. This report describes how this achievement is feasible with emphasis on the actual processing of brains donated for research