Levels of retinal IAPP are altered in Alzheimer's disease patients and correlate with vascular changes and hippocampal IAPP levels

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Islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) forms toxic aggregates in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Whether IAPP also affects the retina in these patients is still unknown. Levels of IAPP in soluble and insoluble homogenate fractions of retina and hippocampus from AD patients and nondemented controls were analyzed using ELISA. Number of pericytes and vessel length were determined by analysis of immunostained retina and hippocampus. Insoluble retinal fractions of AD patients contained lower levels of unmodified IAPP, whereas soluble retinal fractions contained increased levels of the same. Total IAPP levels and pericyte numbers in retina mirrored corresponding variables in the hippocampus. Moreover, levels of total unmodified IAPP correlated negatively with the vessel length both in retina and hippocampus across the group and positively with pericyte numbers in retina in AD patients. Our studies indicate that changes in brain IAPP are reflected by corresponding levels in the retina. Our results also suggest modification of IAPP as an important event implicated in vascular changes associated with AD.




Schultz, N., Byman, E., & Wennström, M. (2018). Levels of retinal IAPP are altered in Alzheimer’s disease patients and correlate with vascular changes and hippocampal IAPP levels. Neurobiology of Aging, 69, 94–101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2018.05.003

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