The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Lysosomal dysfunction in a mouse model of Sandhoff disease leads to accumulation of ganglioside-bound amyloid-β peptide.

PMID 22496568


Alterations in the lipid composition of endosomal-lysosomal membranes may constitute an early event in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. In this study, we investigated the possibility that GM2 ganglioside accumulation in a mouse model of Sandhoff disease might be associated with the accumulation of intraneuronal and extracellular proteins commonly observed in AD. Our results show intraneuronal accumulation of amyloid-β peptide (Aβ)-like, α-synuclein-like, and phospho-tau-like immunoreactivity in the brains of β-hexosaminidase knock-out (HEXB KO) mice. Biochemical and immunohistochemical analyses confirmed that at least some of the intraneuronal Aβ-like immunoreactivity (iAβ-LIR) represents amyloid precursor protein C-terminal fragments (APP-CTFs) and/or Aβ. In addition, we observed increased levels of Aβ40 and Aβ42 peptides in the lipid-associated fraction of HEXB KO mouse brains, and intraneuronal accumulation of ganglioside-bound Aβ (GAβ) immunoreactivity in a brain region-specific manner. Furthermore, α-synuclein and APP-CTFs and/or Aβ were found to accumulate in different regions of the substantia nigra, indicating different mechanisms of accumulation or turnover pathways. Based on the localization of the accumulated iAβ-LIR to endosomes, lysosomes, and autophagosomes, we conclude that a significant accumulation of iAβ-LIR may be associated with the lysosomal-autophagic turnover of Aβ and fragments of APP-containing Aβ epitopes. Importantly, intraneuronal GAβ immunoreactivity, a proposed prefibrillar aggregate found in AD, was found to accumulate throughout the frontal cortices of postmortem human GM1 gangliosidosis, Sandhoff disease, and Tay-Sachs disease brains. Together, these results establish an association between the accumulation of gangliosides, autophagic vacuoles, and the intraneuronal accumulation of proteins associated with AD.

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G8397 Monosialoganglioside GM2 from bovine brain, ≥95% (TLC)