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Altered morphology and 3D architecture of brain vasculature in a mouse model for Alzheimer’s disease


Meyer, E P; Ulmann-Schuler, A; Staufenbiel, M; Krucker, T (2008). Altered morphology and 3D architecture of brain vasculature in a mouse model for Alzheimer’s disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 105(9):3587-3592.

Abstract

Substantial evidence from epidemiological, pathological, and clinical reports suggests that vascular factors are critical in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and changes in blood flow are currently the most reliable indicators of the disease. We previously reported that older APP23 transgenic (tg) mice have significant blood flow alterations correlated with structural modifications of blood vessels. For the present study, our objective was to analyze the age-dependent morphological and architectural changes of the cerebral vasculature of APP23 tg mice. To visualize the 3D arrangement of the entire brain vasculature, we used vascular corrosion casts. Already at young ages, when typically parenchymal amyloid plaques are not yet present, APP23 tg mice had significant alterations, particularly of the microvasculature, often accompanied by small deposits attached to the vessels. In older animals, vasculature abruptly ended at amyloid plaques, resulting in holes. Often, small deposits were sitting near or at the end of truncated vessels. Between such holes, the surrounding vascular array appeared more dense and showed features typical for angiogenesis. We propose that small amyloid aggregates associated with the microvasculature lead to morphological and architectural alterations of the vasculature, resulting in altered local blood flow. The characteristic early onset of vascular alterations suggests that imaging blood flow and/or vasculature architecture could be used as a tool for early diagnosis of the disease and to monitor therapies.

Substantial evidence from epidemiological, pathological, and clinical reports suggests that vascular factors are critical in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and changes in blood flow are currently the most reliable indicators of the disease. We previously reported that older APP23 transgenic (tg) mice have significant blood flow alterations correlated with structural modifications of blood vessels. For the present study, our objective was to analyze the age-dependent morphological and architectural changes of the cerebral vasculature of APP23 tg mice. To visualize the 3D arrangement of the entire brain vasculature, we used vascular corrosion casts. Already at young ages, when typically parenchymal amyloid plaques are not yet present, APP23 tg mice had significant alterations, particularly of the microvasculature, often accompanied by small deposits attached to the vessels. In older animals, vasculature abruptly ended at amyloid plaques, resulting in holes. Often, small deposits were sitting near or at the end of truncated vessels. Between such holes, the surrounding vascular array appeared more dense and showed features typical for angiogenesis. We propose that small amyloid aggregates associated with the microvasculature lead to morphological and architectural alterations of the vasculature, resulting in altered local blood flow. The characteristic early onset of vascular alterations suggests that imaging blood flow and/or vasculature architecture could be used as a tool for early diagnosis of the disease and to monitor therapies.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Zoology (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:4 March 2008
Deposited On:04 Mar 2008 10:10
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:22
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
Additional Information:Copyright: National Academy of Sciences USA
Publisher DOI:10.1073/pnas.0709788105
PubMed ID:18305170
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2271

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