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Journal of neuroimmune pharmacology : the official journal of the Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology

Amyloid-β(1-42) protofibrils formed in modified artificial cerebrospinal fluid bind and activate microglia.


PMID 23242692

Abstract

Soluble aggregated forms of amyloid-β protein (Aβ) have garnered significant attention recently for their role in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Protofibrils are a subset of these soluble species and are considered intermediates in the aggregation pathway to mature Aβ fibrils. Biological studies have demonstrated that protofibrils exhibit both toxic and inflammatory activities. It is important in these in vitro studies to prepare protofibrils using solution conditions that are appropriate for cellular studies as well as conducive to biophysical characterization of protofibrils. Here we describe the preparation and characterization of Aβ(1-42) protofibrils in modified artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF) and demonstrate their prominent binding and activation of microglial cells. A simple phosphate/bicarbonate buffer system was prepared that maintained the ionic strength and cell compatibility of F-12 medium but did not contain numerous supplements that interfere with spectroscopic analyses of Aβ protofibrils. Reconstitution of Aβ(1-42) in aCSF and isolation with size exclusion chromatography (SEC) revealed curvilinear β-sheet protofibrils <100 nm in length and hydrodynamic radii of 21 nm. Protofibril concentration determination by BCA assay, which was not possible in F-12 medium, was more accurately measured in aCSF. Protofibrils formed and isolated in aCSF, but not monomers, markedly stimulated TNFα production in BV-2 and primary microglia and bound in significant amounts to microglial membranes. This report demonstrates the suitability of a modified aCSF system for preparing SEC-isolated Aβ(1-42) protofibrils and underscores the unique ability of protofibrils to functionally interact with microglia.

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