Senile plaques are a characteristic feature in brains of individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and aged monkeys. The principal component of amyloid in senile plaques is β/A4, a peptide derived from a larger amyloid precursor protein (APP). To date, several alternatively spliced APP transcripts have been described. The relationship between levels of these APP mRNAs and amyloid deposition is unclear. In this study, we directly measured the relative levels of APP transcripts that lack the protease inhibitor domain (APP-695) and transcripts that encode the inhibitor sequences (APP-751/770). Our results indicate that the expression of APP mRNAs is not selectively altered in AD cortex. Moreover, the differential expression of APP transcripts is not correlated with the deposition of amyloid in cases of AD and aged monkeys. These findings suggest that other factors, not directly related to the relative expression of APP mRNAs, may contribute to amyloidogenesis in the brain.
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