, Volume 77, Issue 4, pp 337-342

Sulfated glycosaminoglycans in amyloid plaques of prion diseases

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Brain sections from cases of human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Gerstmann-Sträussler syndrome, kuru, and hamster scrapie containing amyloid were examined for the presence of sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), the anionic component of proteoglycans, using the sulfated Alcian blue method and Alcian blue technique with 0.3 M and 0.7 M magnesium chloride. These studies suggest that sulfated glycosaminoglycans are part of the CNS amyloid plaques in each of the above human prion disorders as well as in experimental scrapie. All the amyloid plaques stained positively with Alcian blue at 0.3 M, and less so at 0.7 M magnesium chloride indicating the presence of sulfated GAGs. Therefore, the amyloid plaques of prion diseases possess similar histochemical features to those found in Alzheimer's disease.

Supported by Grant MT-3153 from the Medical Research Council of Canada, as well as research grants from the John Douglas French Foundation for Alzheimer's disease and the National Institutes of Health (NS22786, AG02132 and NS14069) and gifts from the R.J. Reynolds Industries, Sherman Fairchild Foundation, and Joseph and Stephaine Koret Foundation