, Volume 77, Issue 6, pp 569-575

Demonstration of microglial cells in and around senile (neuritic) plaques in the Alzheimer brain

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A monoclonal antibody, termed AD11/8, reactive to microglial cells, was produced by immunization of mice with partially purified amyloid fibrils of senile (neuritic) plaques. With immunoperoxidase staining on human tissues, AD11/8 also recognized macrophages in the red pulp of the spleen, Kupffer cells in the liver, and macrophages in the bone marrow. The results show that AD11/8 recognizes the antigens associated with mononuclear phagocytes lineage. In normal brains a few resting microglial cells were stained in gray matter, and less frequently in white matter. In senile dementia of the Alzheimer type numerous microglial cells were stained intensively and they often formed clusters in gray matter. By double immunostaining with AD11/8 and a polyclonal antibody against synthetic amyloid β-protein, clustered microglial cells were observed in and around senile plaques with amyloid deposits. Some amyloid plaque cores were surrounded by microglial cell processes. These results indicate that microglial cells may play an important role in senile plaque formation.

Supported in part by the Grant-in Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, the grants for Research of Dementia and for Primary Amyloidosis from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Japan