Microvascular cerebral blood volume changes in aging APP(swe)/PS1 (dE9) AD mouse model: a voxel-wise approach.

Brain Struct Funct. 2012


Vascular disorders can either be cause or consequence in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). To comprehensively characterize the occurrence of vascular impairment in a double transgenic mouse model for AD (APP(swe)/PS1(dE9)) during aging, we developed a new method to obtain microvascular relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV(micro)) maps from gradient echo MR imaging by histogram evaluation and we applied a voxel-wise approach to detect rCBV(micro) changes. With this methodology the development of cerebral microvascular impairments can be described in vivo with 0.16 mm isotropic resolution for the whole mouse brain. At 8 months, impaired rCBV(micro) appeared in some cortical regions and in the thalamus, which spreads over several sub-cortical areas and the hippocampus at 13 months. With a ROI-based approach, we further showed that hippocampal rCBV(micro) in 13-month-old wild-type and APP(swe)/PS1(dE9) mice correlates well with capillary density measured with immunohistochemical staining. However, no differences in capillary density were detected between genotypes. The rCBV(micro) values showed no significant correlation with amyloid-β (Aβ) plaque deposition, Aβ at blood vessel walls and biochemically measured levels of Aβ(1-40), Aβ(1-42) oligomers and fibrillar forms. These results suggest that rCBV(micro) reduction is caused by an impaired vasoactivity of capillaries and arterioles, which is not directly correlated with the amount of Aβ deposition in parenchyma nor blood vessel walls.

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