Targeting Alzheimer amyloid plaques in vivo

T. M. Wengenack, G. L. Curran, J. F. Poduslo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


The only definitive diagnosis for Alzheimer disease (AD) at present is postmortem observation of neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in brain sections. Radiolabeled amyloid-β peptide (Aβ), which has been shown to label neuritic plaques in vitro, therefore could provide a diagnostic tool if it also labels neuritic plaques in vivo following intravenous injection. In this study, we show that the permeability of Aβ at the blood-brain barrier can be increased by at least twofold through covalent modification with the naturally occurring polyamine, putrescine. We also show that, following intravenous injection, radiolabeled, putrescine-modified Aβ labels amyloid deposits in vivo in a transgenic mouse model of AD, as well as in vitro in human AD brain sections. This technology, when applied to humans, may be used to detect plaques in vivo, allowing early diagnosis of the disease and therapeutic intervention before cognitive decline occurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)868-872
Number of pages5
JournalNature biotechnology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2000


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Amyloid
  • Diagnosis
  • Imaging
  • Labeling
  • Transgenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering


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