Noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging detection of cerebral amyloid angiopathy-related microvascular alterations using superparamagnetic iron oxide particles in APP transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease: application to passive Abeta immunotherapy.

Beckmann, N., Gerard, C., Abramowski, D., Cannet, C., Staufenbiel, M.
Journal   J Neurosci.
Species  
Analytes Measured   Abeta 40 , Abeta 42
Matrix Tested   Transgenic mouse brain homogenates
Year   2011
Volume   31
Page Numbers   1023-31
Application   Alzheimers
Abstract
Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is a common feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). More advanced stages are accompanied by microhemorrhages and vasculitis. Peripheral blood-borne macrophages are intimately linked to cerebrovascular pathology coincident with AD. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to noninvasively study microvascular lesions in amyloid precursor protein transgenic mouse AD models. Foci of signal attenuation were detected in cortical and thalamic brain regions of aged APP23 mice. Their strength and number was considerably enhanced by intravenous administration of iron oxide nanoparticles, which are taken up by macrophages through absorptive endocytosis, 24 h before image acquisition. The number of cortical sites displaying signal attenuation increased with age. Histology at these sites demonstrated the presence of iron-containing macrophages in the vicinity of CAA-affected blood vessels. A fraction of the sites additionally showed thickened vessel walls and vasculitis. Consistent with the visualization of CAA-associated lesions, MRI detected a much smaller number of attenuated signal sites in APP23xPS45 mice, for which a strong presenilin mutation caused a shift toward amyloid β(42), thus reducing vascular amyloid. Similar results were obtained with APP24 and APP51 mice, which develop significantly less CAA and microvascular pathology than APP23. In a longitudinal study, we noninvasively demonstrated the reinforced formation of microvascular pathology during passive amyloid β immunotherapy of APP23 mice. Histology confirmed that foci of signal attenuation reflected an increase in CAA-related lesions. Our data demonstrate that MRI has the sensitivity to noninvasively monitor the development of vascular pathology and its possible enhancement by amyloid β immunotherapy in transgenic mice modeling AD.

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