Iron Biochemistry is Correlated with Amyloid Plaque Morphology in an Established Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease
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A signature characteristic of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is aggregation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) fibrils in the brain. Nevertheless, the links between Aβ and AD pathology remain incompletely understood. It has been proposed that neurotoxicity arising from aggregation of the Aβ1-42 peptide can in part be explained by metal ion binding interactions. Using advanced X-ray microscopy techniques at sub-micron resolution, we investigated relationships between iron biochemistry and AD pathology in intact cortex from an established mouse model over-producing Aβ. We found a direct correlation of amyloid plaque morphology with iron, and evidence for the formation of an iron-amyloid complex. We also show that iron biomineral deposits in the cortical tissue contain the mineral magnetite, and provide evidence that Aβ-induced chemical reduction of iron could occur in vivo. Our observations point to the specific role of iron in amyloid deposition and AD pathology, and may impact development of iron-modifying therapeutics for AD.
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