Apolipoprotein A-II (apoA-II), an apolipoprotein in serum high-density lipoprotein, is a precursor of mouse senile amyloid fibrils. The liver has been considered to be the primary site of synthesis. However, we performed nonradioactive in situ hybridization analysis in tissue sections from young and old amyloidogenic (R1.P1-Apoa2c) and amyloid-resistant (SAMR1) mice and revealed that other tissues in addition to the liver synthesize apoA-II. We found a strong hybridization signal in the basal cells of the squamous epithelium and the chief cells of the fundic gland in the stomach, the crypt cells and a small portion of the absorptive epithelial cells in the small intestine, the basal cells of the tongue mucosa, and the basal cells of the epidermis and hair follicles in the skin in both mouse strains. Expression of apoA-II mRNA in those tissues was also examined by RT-PCR analysis. Immunolocalization of apoA-II protein also indicated the cellular localization of apoA-II. ApoA-II transcription was not observed in the heart. Amyloid deposition was observed around the cells expressing apoA-II mRNA in the old R1.P1-Apoa2c mice. These results demonstrate that the apoA-II mRNA is transcribed and translated in various extrahepatic tissues and suggest a possible contribution of apoA-II synthesized in these tissues to amyloid deposition.
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