Neuroprotective natural antibodies to assemblies of amyloidogenic peptides decrease with normal aging and advancing Alzheimer's disease

M. Britschgi, C. E. Olin, H. T. Johns, Y. Takeda-Uchimura, M. C. Lemieux, K. Rufibach, J. Rajadas, H. Zhang, B. Tomooka, W. H. Robinson, C. M. Clark, A. M. Fagan, D. R. Galasko, D. M. Holtzman, M. Jutel, J. A. Kaye, C. A. Lemere, J. Leszek, G. Li, E. R. PeskindJ. F. Quinn, J. A. Yesavage, J. A. Ghiso, T. Wyss-Coray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


A number of distinct β-amyloid (Aβ) variants or multimers have been implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD), and antibodies recognizing such peptides are in clinical trials. Humans have natural Aβ-specific antibodies, but their diversity, abundance, and function in the general population remain largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate with peptide microarrays the presence of natural antibodies against known toxic Aβ and amyloidogenic non-Aβ species in plasma samples and cerebrospinal fluid of AD patients and healthy controls aged 21-89 years. Antibody reactivity was most prominent against oligomeric assemblies of Aβ and pyroglutamate or oxidized residues, and IgGs specific for oligomeric preparations of Aβ1-42 in particular declined with age and advancing AD. Most individuals showed unexpected antibody reactivities against peptides unique to autosomal dominant forms of dementia (mutant Aβ, ABri, ADan) and IgGs isolated from plasma of AD patients or healthy controls protected primary neurons from Aβ toxicity. Aged vervets showed similar patterns of plasma IgG antibodies against amyloid peptides, and after immunization with Aβ the monkeys developed high titers not only against Aβ peptides but also against ABri and ADan peptides. Our findings support the concept of conformation-specific, cross-reactive antibodies that may protect against amyloidogenic toxic peptides. If a therapeutic benefit of Aβ antibodies can be confirmed in AD patients, stimulating the production of such neuroprotective antibodies or passively administering them to the elderly population may provide a preventive measure toward AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12145-12150
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number29
StatePublished - Jul 21 2009


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