Plasma Exchange Reduces Aβ Levels in Plasma and Decreases Amyloid Plaques in the Brain in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

Santiago Ramirez, Suelyn Koerich, Natalia Astudillo, Nicole De Gregorio, Rabab Al-Lahham, Tyler Allison, Natalia Pessoa Rocha, Fei Wang, Claudio Soto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, characterized by the abnormal accumulation of protein aggregates in the brain, known as neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques. It is believed that an imbalance between cerebral and peripheral pools of Aβ may play a relevant role in the deposition of Aβ aggregates. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of the removal of Aβ from blood plasma on the accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain. We performed monthly plasma exchange with a 5% mouse albumin solution in the APP/PS1 mouse model from 3 to 7 months old. At the endpoint, total Aβ levels were measured in the plasma, and soluble and insoluble brain fractions were analyzed using ELISA. Brains were also analyzed histologically for amyloid plaque burden, plaque size distributions, and gliosis. Our results showed a reduction in the levels of Aβ in the plasma and insoluble brain fractions. Interestingly, histological analysis showed a reduction in thioflavin-S (ThS) and amyloid immunoreactivity in the cortex and hippocampus, accompanied by a change in the size distribution of amyloid plaques, and a reduction in Iba1-positive cells. Our results provide preclinical evidence supporting the relevance of targeting Aβ in the periphery and reinforcing the potential use of plasma exchange as an alternative non-pharmacological strategy for slowing down AD pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17087
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • albumin
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • amyloid plaque
  • amyloid-β
  • plasma exchange
  • plasmapheresis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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