Cerebral amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease but not in scrapie-affected mice are closely associated with a local inflammatory process

P. Eikelenboom*, J. M. Rozemuller, G. Kraal, F. C. Stam, P. A. McBride, M. E. Bruce, H. Fraser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Complement proteins of the classical pathway can be immunohistochemically identified in cerebral amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease. Microglial cells in and around amyloid plaques express class II major histocompatibility (MHC) antigens and complement receptors CR3 and CR4. Negative immunostaining for immunoglobulins and for T-cell subsets in the brain parenchyma demonstrates a lack of evidence for the involvement of specific immune responses (such as an immune complex-mediated complement activation or a cell-mediated immune response) in cerebral amyloid deposits in Alzheimer's disease. Cerebral amyloid plaques in scrapie-affected mice (slow-virus induced encephalopathy) do not contain complement factors C1q and C3c and are not clustered with microglial cells expressing MHC class II molecules or complement receptor CR3. The data presented suggest the induction of a reactive inflammatory process by β/A4 amyloid in the human brain, but not by scrapie-induced PrP amyloid in mice. Our findings do not support the hypothesis that the immune system is involved in the generation of amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-336
Number of pages8
JournalVirchows Archiv B Cell Pathology Including Molecular Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1991

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