Acta neuropathologica

Aβ immunotherapy for Alzheimer's disease: effects on apoE and cerebral vasculopathy.

PMID 25195061


Aβ immunotherapy for Alzheimer's disease (AD) results in the removal of Aβ plaques and increased cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). In current clinical trials, amyloid-related imaging abnormalities (ARIAs), putatively due to exacerbation of CAA, are concerning side effects. We aimed to assess the role of the Aβ transporter apolipoprotein E (apoE) in the exacerbation of CAA and development of CAA-associated vasculopathy after Aβ immunotherapy. 12 Aβ42-immunized AD (iAD; AN1792, Elan Pharmaceuticals) cases were compared with 28 unimmunized AD (cAD) cases. Immunohistochemistry was quantified for Aβ42, apoE, apoE E4 and smooth muscle actin, and CAA-associated vasculopathy was analyzed. Aβ immunotherapy was associated with redistribution of apoE from cortical plaques to cerebral vessel walls, mirroring the altered distribution of Aβ42. Concentric vessel wall splitting was increased threefold in leptomeningeal vessels after immunotherapy (cAD 6.3 vs iAD 20.6xa0%, Pxa0