Aβ-oligomer uptake and the resulting inflammatory response in adult human astrocytes are precluded by an anti-Aβ single chain variable fragment in combination with an apoE mimetic peptide

Laia Montoliu-Gaya, Sandra D. Mulder, Maaike A.C. Herrebout, Johannes C. Baayen, Sandra Villegas, Robert Veerhuis

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18 Citations (Scopus)


An imbalance between production and clearance of soluble amyloid-β (Aβ) initiates the pathological process in sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ-specific antibodies seemed promising as therapeutic option in AD mouse models. In patients, however, vascular side-effects and Aβ-antibody complex-induced microglial and/or perivascular macrophage inflammatory responses were encountered. To prevent inflammatory reactions, we designed a single chain variable fragment (scFv-h3D6), based on monoclonal antibody bapineuzumab (mAb-h3D6), but lacking the Fc region. ScFv-h3D6 reduced Aβ-oligomer burden and prevented AD-associated behavioral and cellular changes in 3xTg-AD mice. As scFv-h3D6 lacks the Fc-tail, it cannot enhance Fc-receptor mediated Aβ clearance by microglia and probably exerts its beneficial effects in 3xTg-AD mice through other mechanisms. ScFv-h3D6 restored the increased apoE and apoJ levels in 3xTg-AD brains back to normal. ApoE and apoJ influence cholesterol transport, Aβ aggregation and clearance, and their genetic variants are risk factors for sporadic AD. Astrocytes are constitutive scavengers of soluble Aβ from the CNS. We previously found apoE and apoJ to inhibit Aβ uptake by adult human astrocytes, in vitro, and thus to potentially protect astrocytes from Aβ cytotoxicity. In the present study, scFv-h3D6 and mAb-h3D6 inhibited Aβ-oligomer uptake by adult human astrocytes. ApoE- and apoJ- mimetic peptides (MP) affected Aβ uptake as well as Aβ-induced cytokine release similar to intact apoE and apoJ, without interfering with the strong inhibitory effects of scFv-h3D6 on Aβ-oligomer uptake. These results suggest that combining Aβ-specific scFv and apoE-MP, that inhibits Aβ oligomer-induced cytokine release by astrocytes, could offer advantages over currently used therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-59
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Apolipoprotein
  • Astrocyte
  • Aβ uptake
  • Bapineuzumab
  • Immunotherapy
  • Inflammation

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