Codeposition of cystatin C with amyloid-beta protein in the brain of Alzheimer disease patients

E Levy, M Sastre, A Kumar, G Gallo, P Piccardo, B Ghetti, F Tagliavini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Immunohistochemical analysis of brains of patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) revealed that the cysteine proteinase inhibitor cystatin C colocalizes with amyloid beta-protein (Abeta) in parenchymal and vascular amyloid deposits. No evidence of cerebral hemorrhage was observed in any of the brains studied. Immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated dual staining of amyloid fibrils with anti-Abeta and anti-cystatin C antibodies. Cystatin C immunoreactivity was also observed in amyloid deposits in the brain of transgenic mice overexpressing human beta amyloid precursor protein. Massive deposition of the variant cystatin C in the cerebral vessels of patients with the Icelandic form of hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis is thought to be responsible for the pathological processes leading to stroke. Anti-cystatin C antibodies strongly labeled pyramidal neurons within cortical layers most prone to amyloid deposition in the brains of AD patients. Immunohistochemistry with antibodies against the carboxyl-terminus of Abeta(x-42) showed intracellular immunoreactivity in the same neuronal subpopulation. It remains to be established whether the association of cystatin C to Abeta plays a primary role in amyloidogenesis of AD or is a late event in which the protein is bound to the previously formed Abeta amyloid fibrils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-104
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2001


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Amyloid
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Animals
  • Brain
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Cystatin C
  • Cystatins
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Pyramidal Cells
  • Tissue Distribution


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