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Detecting Amyloid-β Accumulation via Immunofluorescent Staining in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

Published: April 19th, 2021



1Jiangsu Province Key Laboratory of Anesthesiology, Jiangsu Province Key Laboratory of Anesthesia and Analgesia Application Technology and NMPA Key Laboratory for Research and Evaluation of Narcotic and Psychotropic Drugs, Xuzhou Medical University
* These authors contributed equally

In the neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease, one of the most crucial characteristics is the deposition of amyloid-β. In this protocol, we describe the method of immunofluorescent staining in 5×FAD transgenic mouse to detect amyloid-β accumulation in plaques. The process of perfusion, cryosectioning, staining and quantification will be described in detail.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that contributes to 60-70% dementia around the world. One of the hallmarks of AD undoubtedly lies on accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) in the brain. Aβ is produced from the proteolytic cleavage of the beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) by β-secretase and γ-secretase. In pathological circumstances, the increased β-cleavage of APP leads to overproduction of Aβ, which aggregates into Aβ plaques. Since Aβ plaques are a characteristic of AD pathology, detecting the amount of Aβ is very important in AD research. In this protocol, we introduce the immunofluorescent staining method to visualize Aβ deposition. The mouse model used in our experiments is 5×FAD, which carries five mutations found in human familial AD. The neuropathological and behavioral deficits of 5xFAD mice are well-documented, which makes it a good animal model to study Aβ pathology. We will introduce the procedure including transcardial perfusion, cryosectioning, immunofluorescent staining and quantification to detect Aβ accumulation in 5×FAD mice. With this protocol, researchers can investigate Aβ pathology in an AD mouse model.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that causes 60%-70% dementia around the world and costs much social resources1. It is well-known that accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) is a pathological hallmark in Alzheimer's disease. Amyloid precursor protein (APP) is an integral membrane protein that exists in many tissues. Aβ peptide, consisting of 36-42 amino acids2, is produced by the subsequent cleavage of β- and γ-secretase in APP3,4. Changes in APP cleavage and mutations in APP gene lead to overproduction of ....

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All experimental procedures were performed with the approval of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of Xuzhou Medical University and in accordance with the guidelines of the Chinese governmental regulations for the care and use of laboratory animals.

1. Perfusion of Mice

NOTE: More details of the perfusion procedure can refer to the video from Wiliam Shain's lab 11.

  1. Anesthetize 5×FAD (C57BL/6J) transgenic mice.......

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We used the above-described immunofluorescent staining procedures to investigate the deposition of Aβ accumulation in 5×FAD mice of different age. Figure 3 represents typical results and suboptimal results using our protocol. Brain slices of 5-month and 8-month heterozygous 5×FAD transgenic mice and 4 to 6-month wild-type control were stained with 6E10 antibody and detected under a fluorescence microscope. Figure 3A shows Aβ accumulation in p.......

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Immunofluorescent staining using 6E10 antibody can specifically detect Aβ accumulation in the brain, which is easy to be quantified by Image J. What is worth noticing is that some crucial steps in this protocol may affect the results.

To prevent slices from peeling off or breakage shown in Figure 3C, a few key points should be noticed. Perfusion should proceed rapidly after making the incision on the diaphragm because of the irreversible pathophysiological ef.......

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This research was supported by a general project of Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number: 81974157) from the Natural Science Foundation of China, a Jiangsu Special Appointed Professorship (to C.L.) from Jiangsu Education Department, a Jiangsu Province Innovative and Entrepreneurial Team Program (to H.Z., A. L., W.W., C.L. and Y.S.), a starting grant of excellent talent (D2019025) and Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training Program (201910313038Z to Z.S., Y.X., M.Z. and J.D.) from Xuzhou Medical University. This research was also supported by National Demonstration Center for Experimental Basic Medical Science Education (Xuzhou Medical Universit....

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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
Injection syringe KLMEDICAL 1 mL
Pentobarbitual sodium Sigma-Aldrich P3761 1% in saline for i.p. injection
IRIS-Fine Straight iris scissors (~11.5 cm) RWD S12010-11
Sharp curved surgical scissors(11.5 cm) RWD S14016-11
Straight dissecting forceps (~10.5 cm) RWD F12010-10
Centrifugal tube (5 mL) Biosharp
Injection syringe KLMEDICAL 20 mL
Paraformaldehyde Vicmed VIH100
PBS 0.01M (PH7.2-7.4) powder Vicmed VC2001P Add deionized water to make solution
Fixation, Dehydration and Cryosectioning
Adhesion microscope slides CITOTEST 188105 76.2 mm × 25.4 mm
Microtome Cryostat LEICA CM1950
Optimal cutting temperature compound (OCT) Sakura Finetek 4583
Sucrose VETEC V900116
Immunofluorescence staining
Fluorescence microscope OLYMPUS IX-81
Goat anti-Mouse IgG (H+L) Cross-Adsorbed Secondary Antibody, Alexa Fluor 594 Thermo Fisher Scientific A-11005 200X
Image-Pro Plus 7.0C Media Cybernetics Scientific graphing and data analysis software
Immunohistochemical Wet Box (black) Sinylab Customized 300 mm × 100 mm × 38 mm, groove depth 27 mm, can contain 10 standard slides
Pipet Thermo Scientific
Pipette tips Well-offer
Plastic staining box Sinylab Customized 30 mL, can contain 5 standard slides
Primary Antibody Dilution Buffer made in our lab 1% BSA 1g, 0.3% Triton X-100 300ul, 0.01% sodium azide 10mg in 100ml PBS
Purified anti beta amyloid,1-16 antibody (6E10) Biolegend SIG-39320 500X
Quick Antigen Retrieval Solution for Frozen Sections KeyGEN BioTECH KGIHC005 5X
Graphpad Prism 8.0.1 Graphpad Medical mapping software
Image J Fiji 2.0.0 National Institute of Health Scientific graphing and data analysis software

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