A beta40 is a major form of beta-amyloid in nonhuman primates.
Because aged nonhuman primates show beta-amyloid (A beta) deposition in senile plaques and blood vessels similar to that seen in human aging and AD, we used C-terminal specific antibodies to A beta40 and A beta42 to investigate A beta peptide length in the brains of 11 aged rhesus monkeys and a 59-year-old chimpanzee. In contrast to AD, where the earliest and most prominent form of A beta in senile plaques is A beta42, in the monkey, A beta40-positive plaques predominated. The ratio of A beta40:A beta42-positive plaques averaged 2.08 in the monkey, as compared to a mean ratio of 0.37 in 68 human AD subjects (p < 0.001). A beta40 was also more prominent in the chimpanzee than in humans. Possible explanations for these findings include species differences in the cleavage of A beta from the amyloid precursor protein or in the activity of a putative carboxy peptidase forming A beta40 from A beta42 in situ.