- To study amyloid beta-protein (A beta) production and aggregation in vivo, we created two transgenic (Tg) mouse lines expressing the C-terminal 100 amino acids of human amyloid precursor protein (APP): Tg C100.V717F and Tg C100.WT. Western blot analysis showed that human APP-C100 and A beta were produced in brain and some peripheral tissues and A beta was produced in serum. Using antibodies specific for the A beta C terminus we found that Tg C100.V717F produced a 1.6-fold increase in A beta42/A beta40 compared with Tg C100.WT. Approximately 30% of total brain A beta (approximately 122 ng/g of wet tissue) was water-soluble. The remaining 70% of A beta partitioned into the particulate fraction and was completely sodium dodecyl sulfate-soluble. In contrast, human Alzheimer's disease brain has predominantly sodium dodecyl sulfate-insoluble A beta. Immunohistochemistry with an A beta(5-8) antibody showed that A beta or A beta-containing fragments accumulated intracellularly in the hippocampus of aged Tg C100.V717F mice. The soluble A beta levels in Tg brain are similar to those in normal human brain, and this may explain the lack of microscopic amyloid deposits in the Tg mice. However, this mouse model provides a system to study the intracellular processing and accumulation of A beta or A beta-containing fragments and to screen for compounds directed at the gamma-secretase activity.