Amyloid Beta 40

Aβ40 is a 40 amino acid proteolytic product from the amyloid precursor protein (APP) that has gained attention as a biomarker correlating with Alzheimer disease (AD) onset, mild cognitive impairment, vascular dementia, and other cognitive disorders. Beta-secretase cleavage of APP initially results in the production of an APP fragment that is further cleaved by gamma-secretase at residues 40-42 to generate two main forms of amyloid beta, Aβ40 and Aβ42. Amyloid beta (Aβ) peptides (including a shorter Aβ38 isoform) are produced by different cell types in the body, but the expression is particularly high in the brain. Accumulation of Aβ in the form of extracellular plaques is a neuropathological hallmark of AD and believed to play a central role in the neurodegenerative process. Aβ40 is the major amyloid component in these plaques and is thought to be an initiating factor of AD plaques. In healthy and disease states Aβ40 is the most abundant form of the amyloid peptides in both cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma (10–20X higher than Aβ42). Recent studies suggest that a decrease in the ratio of Aβ42/Aβ40 may indicate AD progression.