The antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies, which may trigger vascular thrombosis with consecutive infarcts. However, cognitive dysfunctions representing one of the most commonest neuropsychiatric symptoms are frequently present despite the absence of any ischemic brain lesions. Data on the structural and functional basis of the neuropsychiatric symptoms are sparse. To examine the effect of APS on hippocampal neurogenesis and on white matter, we induced experimental APS (eAPS) in adult female Balb/C mice by immunization with β2-glycoprotein 1. To investigate cell proliferation in the dentate gyrus granular cell layer (DG GCL), eAPS and control mice (n = 5, each) were injected with 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) once a day for 10 subsequent days. Sixteen weeks after immunization, eAPS resulted in a significant reduction of BrdU-positive cells in the DG GCL compared to control animals. However, double staining with doublecortin and NeuN revealed a largely preserved neurogenesis. Ultrastructural analysis of corpus callosum (CC) axons in eAPS (n = 6) and control mice (n = 7) revealed no significant changes in CC axon diameter or g-ratio. In conclusion, decreased cellular proliferation in the hippocampus of eAPS mice indicates a limited regenerative potential and may represent one neuropathological substrate of cognitive changes in APS while evidence for alterations of white matter integrity is lacking.
Keywords Antiphospholipid syndrome Corpus callosum g-ratio BrdU Neurogenesis