Longitudinal, quantitative assessment of amyloid, neuroinflammation, and anti-amyloid treatment in a living mouse model of Alzheimer's disease enabled by positron emission tomography.
ABSTRACT We provide the first evidence for the capability of a high-resolution positron emission tomographic (PET) imaging system in quantitatively mapping amyloid accumulation in living amyloid precursor protein transgenic (Tg) mice. After the intravenous administration of N-[11C]methyl-2-(4'-methylaminophenyl)-6-hydroxybenzothiazole (or [11C]PIB for "Pittsburgh Compound-B") with high-specific radioactivity, the Tg mice exhibited high-level retention of radioactivity in amyloid-rich regions. PET investigation for Tg mice over an extended range of ages, including longitudinal assessments, demonstrated age-dependent increase in radioligand binding consistent with progressive amyloid accumulation. Reduction in amyloid levels in the hippocampus of Tg mice was also successfully monitored by multiple PET scans along the time course of anti-amyloid treatment using an antibody against amyloid beta peptide (Abeta). Moreover, PET scans with [18F]fluoroethyl-DAA1106, a radiotracer for activated glia, were conducted for these individuals parallel to amyloid imaging, revealing treatment-induced neuroinflammatory responses, the magnitude of which intimately correlated with the levels of pre-existing amyloid estimated by [11C]PIB. It is also noteworthy that the localization and abundance of [11C]PIB autoradiographic signals were closely associated with those of N-terminally truncated and modified Abeta, AbetaN3-pyroglutamate, in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Tg mouse brains, implying that the detectability of amyloid by [11C]PIB positron emission tomography is dependent on the accumulation of specific Abeta subtypes. Our results support the usefulness of the small animal-dedicated PET system in conjunction with high-specific radioactivity probes and appropriate Tg models not only for clarifying the mechanistic properties of amyloidogenesis in mouse models but also for preclinical tests of emerging diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to AD.
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ABSTRACT: The incidence of dementia is increasing at an alarming rate, and has become a major public health concern. Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and is characterized by progressive cognitive impairment. In addition to classical neuropathological features such as amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT), accumulation of activated immune cells has been documented in the AD brain, suggesting a contribution of neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of AD. Besides cognitive deterioration, non-cognitive symptoms, such as agitation, aggression, depression and psychosis, are often observed in demented patients, including those with AD, and these neuropsychological symptoms place a heavy burden on caregivers. These symptoms often exhibit sudden onset and tend to fluctuate over time, and in many cases, they are triggered by an infection in peripheral organs, suggesting that inflammation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of these non-cognitive symptoms. However, there is no mechanistic explanation for the relationship between inflammation and neuropsychiatric symptoms. Observations from experimental mouse models indicate that alteration of brain blood vessels, especially blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction, may contribute to the relationship. The current review summarizes the results from recent studies on the relationship between inflammation and AD, while focusing on cerebrovascular alterations, which might provide an insight into the pathogenesis of cognitive/non-cognitive symptoms in AD patients and suggest a basis for the development of new therapeutic treatments for these conditions.Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 01/2014; 6:171. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia worldwide. As advancing age is the greatest risk factor for developing AD, the number of those afflicted is expected to increase markedly with the aging of the world's population. The inability to definitively diagnose AD until autopsy remains an impediment to establishing effective targeted treatments. Neuroimaging has enabled in vivo visualization of pathological changes in the brain associated with the disease, providing a greater understanding of its pathophysiological development and progression. However, neuroimaging biomarkers do not yet offer clear advantages over current clinical diagnostic criteria for them to be accepted into routine clinical use. Nonetheless, current insights from neuroimaging combined with the elucidation of biochemical and molecular processes in AD are informing the ongoing development of new imaging techniques and their application. Much of this research has been greatly assisted by the availability of transgenic mouse models of AD. In this review we summarize the main efforts of neuroimaging in AD in humans and in mouse models, with a specific focus on β-amyloid, and discuss the potential of new applications and novel approaches.Frontiers in neuroscience. 01/2014; 8:327.
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ABSTRACT: Although N-truncated Aβ variants are known to be the main constituent of amyloid plaques in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease, their potential as targets for pharmacological intervention has only recently been investigated. In the last few years, the Alzheimer field has experienced a paradigm shift with the ever increasing understanding that targeting amyloid plaques has not led to a successful immunotherapy. On the other hand, there can be no doubt that the amyloid cascade hypothesis is central to the etiology of Alzheimer's disease, raising the question as to why it is apparently failing to translate into the clinic. In this review, we aim to refocus the amyloid hypothesis integrating N-truncated Aβ peptides based on mounting evidence that they may represent better targets than full-length Aβ. In addition to Aβ peptides starting with an Asp at position 1, a variety of different N-truncated Aβ peptides have been identified starting with amino residue Ala-2, pyroglutamylated Glu-3, Phe-4, Arg-5, His-6, Asp-7, Ser-8, Gly-9, Tyr-10 and pyroglutamylated Glu-11. Certain forms of N-truncated species are better correlates for early pathological changes found pre-symptomatically more often than others. There is also evidence that, together with full-length Aβ, they might be physiologically detectable and are naturally secreted by neurons. Others are known to form soluble aggregates, which have neurotoxic properties in transgenic mouse models. It has been clearly demonstrated by several groups that some N-truncated Aβs dominate full-length Aβ in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. We try to address which of the N-truncated variants may be promising therapeutic targets and which enzymes might be involved in the generation of these peptides.Acta Neuropathologica 05/2014; · 9.73 Impact Factor