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Vaccination of Alzheimer's model mice with Abeta derivative in alum adjuvant reduces Abeta burden without microhemorrhages


Year of Publication:
Contact PI Name:
Einar M. Sigurdsson
Contact PI Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, Millhauser Laboratories, New York, New York, USA
Ayodeji A. Asuni, Allal Boutajangout, Henrieta Scholtzova, Elin Knudsen, Yong Sheng Li, David Quartermain, Blas Frangione, Thomas Wisniewski
Primary Reference (PubMED ID):
Funding Source:
Alzheimer's Association
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Study Goal and Principal Findings:

Immunotherapy holds great promise for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other conformational disorders but certain adverse reactions need to be overcome. The meningoencephalitis observed in the first AD vaccination trial was likely related to excessive cell-mediated immunity caused by the immunogen, amyloid-β (Aβ) 1–42, and the adjuvant, QS–21. To avoid this toxicity,  Aβ derivatives were used in alum adjuvant that promotes humoral immunity. Other potential side effects of immunotherapy are increased vascular amyloid and associated microhemorrhages that may be related to rapid clearance of parenchymal amyloid. This study determined if this immunization strategy was associated with this form of toxicity, and if the therapeutic effect was age-dependent. Tg2576 mice and wild-type littermates were immunized from 11 or 19 months and their behaviour evaluated prior to killing at 24 months. Subsequently, plaque- and vascular-Aβ burden, Aβ levels and associated pathology was assessed. The therapy started at the cusp of amyloidosis reduced cortical Aβ deposit burden by 31% and Aβ levels by 30–37%, which was associated with cognitive improvements. In contrast, treatment from 19 months, when pathology is well established, was not immunogenic and therefore did not reduce Aβ burden or improve cognition. Significantly, the immunotherapy in the 11–24 months treatment group, that reduced Aβ burden, did not increase cerebral bleeding or vascular Aβ deposits in contrast to several Aβ antibody studies. These findings indicate this approach age-dependently improves cognition and reduces Aβ burden when used with an adjuvant suitable for humans, without increasing vascular Aβ deposits or microhemorrhages.

Therapeutic Agent

Therapeutic Information:
Therapy Type:
Biologic - Immunotherapy(active)
Therapeutic Agent:
Therapeutic Target:
beta Amyloid Peptide

Animal Model

Model Information:
Model Type:
Strain/Genetic Background:
Not Reported

Experimental Design

Is the following information reported in the study?:
Power/Sample Size Calculation
Randomized into Groups
Blinded for Treatment
Blinded for Outcome Measures
Pharmacokinetic Measures
Pharmacodynamic Measures
Toxicology Measures
ADME Measures
Route of Delivery
Duration of Treatment
Frequency of Administration
Age of Animal at the Beginning of Treatment
Age of Animal at the End of Treatment
Sex as a Biological Variable
Study Balanced for Sex as a Biological Variable
Number of Premature Deaths
Number of Excluded Animals
Statistical Plan
Genetic Background
Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria Included
Conflict of Interest


Outcome Measured
Outcome Parameters
Radial Arm Water Maze
Closed Field Symmetrical Maze (CFSM)
Motor Function
Locomotor Activity
Traverse Beam Test
Rotarod Test
beta Amyloid Load
Vascular beta Amyloid Deposits
Activated Microglia
Brain-beta Amyloid Peptide 42
Brain-Buffer Soluble beta Amyloid Peptide 40
Brain-Buffer Soluble beta Amyloid Peptide 42
Interleukin 1 beta (IL-1 beta)
Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP)
Anti-beta Amyloid Antibody Titers
Target Engagement (Reduction beta Amyloid Peptide 40-Brain)
Target Engagement (Reduction beta Amyloid Peptide 42-Brain)