Characterization of amyloid-β Deposits in Bovine Brains

E. Vallino Costassa, M. Fiorini, G. Zanusso, S. Peletto, Pier Luigi Acutis, Elisa Baioni, Cristiana Maurella, Fabrizio Tagliavini, Marcella Catania, Marina Gallo, Monica Lo Faro, M. N. Chieppa, Daniela Meloni, Antonio D'Angelo, Orlando Paciello, Roberta Ghidoni, Elisa Tonoli, C. Casalone, Cristiano Corona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


amyloid-β (Aβ) deposits are seen in aged individuals of many mammalian species that possess the same aminoacid sequence as humans. This study describes Aβ deposition in 102 clinically characterized cattle brains from animals aged 0 to 20 years. Extracellular and intracellular Aβ deposition was detected with 4G8 antibody in the cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum. X-34 staining failed to stain Aβ deposits, indicating the non β-pleated nature of these deposits. Western blot analysis and surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (SELDI-TOF) mass spectrometry revealed in Tris, Triton, and formic acid fractions the presence of different Aβ peptides, characterized mainly by C-terminally truncated forms. Exploration of the genetic variability of APOE, PSEN1, and PSEN2 genes involved in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis revealed several previously unreported polymorphisms. This study demonstrates certain similarities between Aβ deposition patterns exhibited in cattle brains and those in the human brain in early stages of aging. Furthermore, the identification of the same Aβ peptides reported in humans, but unable to form aggregates, supports the hypothesis that cattle may be protected against amyloid plaque formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-887
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 30 2016


  • Aging
  • amyloid beta-protein
  • cattle
  • glial cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Psychology


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