Cytochemical study of the involvement of cell organelles in formation and accumulation of fibrillar amyloid in the pancreas of NORβ transgenic mice


  • D. H. Dobrogowska
  • A. W. Vorbrodt
  • J. Wegiel
  • K. C. Wang
  • M. Shoji
  • C. Mondadori
  • G. Polatis
  • A. Giovanni
  • H. M. Wisniewski


amyloid-β, pancreas, transgenic mice, cytoplasmic organelles, cytochemcial markers


Phosphatase ultrastructural cytochemistry was used to evaluate the participation of cytoplasmic organelles in the accumulation of fibrillar amyloid β (Aβ) in exocrine acinar cells and in macrophages of the pancreas of transgenic mice overexpressing a carboxyterminal fragment of Aβ protein precursor (AβPP). Nucleoside diphosphatase (NDPase) and glucose-6- phosphatase (G6Pase) were used as cytochemical markers of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), thiamine pyrophosphatase (TPPase) as a marker of the Golgi apparatus (CA), and acid phosphatase (AcPase) as a marker of lysosomes. Monoclonal antibody 4G8 raised against the 17-24 aa sequence of human Aβ protein was used for immunogold localization of fibrillar Aβ. The results of this study indicate that the formation of Aβ in acinar cells occurs directly in the vacuolar areas of the rough ER (RER) without evident participation of the elements of the GA, whereas an intimate structural relation with primary lysosomes suggests their role in modification or digestion of the deposited amyloid. In macrophages, fibrillar amyloid was present in numerous cytoplasmic vacuoles located frequently in close proximity to flattened saccules of the ER. This structural pattern revealed similarity to that observed previously in microglial cells producing fibrillar PrP amyloid in scrapie-infected mice and Aβ in brains of human elderly patients and in Alzheimer's type brain pathology.