C99 selectively accumulates in vulnerable neurons in Alzheimer's disease

Maria V. Pulina, Maya Hopkins, Vahram Haroutunian, Paul Greengard, Victor Bustos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Introduction: The levels and distribution of amyloid deposits in the brain does not correlate well with Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression. Therefore, it is likely that amyloid precursor protein and its proteolytic fragments other than amyloid b (Ab) contribute to the onset of AD. Methods: We developed a sensitive assay adapted to the detection of C99, the direct precursor of b-amyloid. Three postmortem groups were studied: control with normal and stable cognition; patients with moderate AD, and individuals with severe AD. The amount of C99 and Aβ was quantified and correlated with the severity of AD. Results: C99 accumulates in vulnerable neurons, and its levels correlate with the degree of cognitive impairment in patients suffering from AD. In contrast, Aβ levels are increased in both vulnerable and resistant brain areas. Discussion: These results raise the possibility that C99, rather than Aβ plaques, is responsible for the death of nerve cells in AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-282
Number of pages10
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid hypothesis
  • C99
  • Proximity-ligation assay
  • bCTF
  • β-amyloid


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