Formationofamyloid oligomers, the most toxic speciesofamyloidsindegenerative diseases,iscritically coupled to the interplay with surrounding water. The hydrophobic force driving the oligomerization causes water removal from interfaces, changing the surface-hydration properties. Here, we show that such effects alter the magnetic relaxation response of local water in ways that may enable oligomer detection. By using water proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we measured significantly longer transverse magnetic relaxation (T2) times in mixtures of serum and amyloidogenic Aβ1-42 peptides versus similar concentration solutions ofserum and nonamyloidogenic scrambled Aβ42-1 peptides. Immunochemistry with oligomer-specific antibodies, electron microscopy and computer simulations demonstrated that the hyperintense magnetic signal correlates with Aβ1-42 oligomerization. Finding early biophysical markers of the oligomerization process is crucial for guiding the development of new noninvasive imaging techniques, enabling timely diagnosis of amyloid-related diseases and pharmacological intervention.
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