Antigen-antibody dissociation in Alzheimer disease: A novel approach to diagnosis

Katarzyna A. Gustaw, Matthew R. Garrett, Hyoung Gon Lee, Rudy J. Castellani, Michael G. Zagorski, Annamalai Prakasam, Sandra L. Siedlak, Xiongwei Zhu, George Perry, Robert B. Petersen, Robert P. Friedland, Mark A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


With the ever-increasing population of aged individuals at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD), there is an urgent need for a sensitive, specific, non-invasive, and diagnostic standard. The majority of efforts have focused on auto-antibodies against amyloid-β (Aβ) protein, both as a potential treatment, and a reliable biomarker of AD pathology. Naturally occurring antibodies against Aβ are found in the CSF and plasma of patients with AD as well as healthy control subjects. To date, differences between diseased and control subjects have been highly variable. However, some of the antibody will be in preformed antigen-antibody complexes and the extent and nature of such complexes may provide a potential explanation for the variable results reported in human studies. Thus, measuring total amounts of antigen or antibody following unmasking is critical. Here, using a technique for dissociating antibody-antigen complexes, we found significant differences in serum antibodies to Aβ between AD and aged-matched control subjects. While the current study demonstrates the relevance of measuring total antibody, bound and unbound, against Aβ in AD, this technique may be applicable to diseases such as acquired immune deficiency syndrome and hepatitis B where determination of antigen and antibody levels are important for disease diagnosis and assessing disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1350-1356
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Amyloid-β
  • Antigen-antibody complexes
  • Biomarker
  • Diagnosis


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