Neuropathology and amyloid-β spectrum in a bapineuzumab immunotherapy recipient

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The field of Alzheimer's disease (AD) research eagerly awaits the results of a large number of Phase III clinical trials that are underway to investigate the effectiveness of anti-amyloid-β (Aβ) immunotherapy for AD. In this case report, we review the pertinent clinical history, examine the neuropathology, and characterize the Aβ profile of an AD patient who received bapineuzumab immunotherapy. The patient received four bapineuzumab infusions over a 39 week period. During the course of this treatment, there was no remarkable change in cognitive impairment as determined by MMSE scores. Forty-eight days after the fourth bapineuzumab infusion was given, MRI revealed that the patient had developed lacunar infarcts and possible vasogenic edema, probably related to immunotherapy, but a subsequent MRI scan 38 days later demonstrated resolution of vasogenic edema. The patient expired due to acute congestive heart failure complicated by progressive AD and cerebrovascular accident 378 days after the first bapineuzumab infusion and 107 days after the end of therapy. Neuropathological and biochemical analysis did not produce evidence of lasting plaque regression or clearance of Aβ due to immunotherapy. The Aβ species profile of this case was compared with non-immunized AD cases and non-demented controls and found to be similar to non-immunized AD cases. SELDI-TOF mass spectrometric analysis revealed the presence of full-length Aβ₁₋₄₂ and truncated Aβ peptides demonstrating species with and without bapineuzumab specific epitopes. These results suggest that, in this particular case, bapineuzumab immunotherapy neither resulted in detectable clearance of amyloid plaques nor prevented further cognitive impairment.

Medical Subject Headings

Aged, 80 and over; Alzheimer Disease (metabolism, pathology, therapy); Amyloid beta-Peptides (metabolism); Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor (metabolism); Antibodies, Monoclonal (therapeutic use); Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized; Brain (metabolism, pathology); Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (methods); Female; Humans; Immunotherapy (methods); Male; Peptide Fragments (metabolism); Plaque, Amyloid (metabolism); Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization (methods); Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (metabolism)

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Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD







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