Microvascular ultrastructural changes precede cognitive impairment in the murine APPswe/PS1dE9 model of Alzheimer's disease

Patricia Kelly, Paul Denver, Simon C Satchell, Maximilian Ackermann, Moritz A Konerding, Christopher A Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
260 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Cerebral and systemic organ microvascular pathologies coexist with human Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology. In this study, we hypothesised that both cerebral and systemic microvascular pathologies exist in 4- to 5-month-old male APPswe/PS1dE9 (APP/PS1) transgenic mice prior to the onset of cognitive impairment. To assess this we examined recognition memory in both wild-type and APP/PS1 mice using the object recognition task (ORT; n = 11 per group) and counted thioflavin-S-positive plaques in brain (n = 6 per group). Vascular casts of brain, liver, spleen and kidneys were examined using scanning electron microscopy (n = 6 per group), and the urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (uACR; n = 5 per group) was measured as an index of glomerular permeability. Murine recognition memory was intact, as demonstrated by a significant preference for the novel object in the ORT paradigm. Brain sections of wild-type mice were devoid of thioflavin-S positivity, whereas age-matched APP/PS1 mice had an average of 0.88 ± 0.22 thioflavin-S-positive plaques in the cortex, 0.42 ± 0.17 plaques in the dentate gyrus and 0.30 ± 0.07 plaques in the cornus ammonis 1 region. The profiles of casted cerebral capillaries of wild-type mice were smooth and regular in contrast to those of APP/PS1 mice which demonstrate characteristic (0.5-4.6 μm) 'tags'. APP/PS1 mice also had a significantly reduced hepatic vessel number (p = 0.0002) and an increase in the number of splenic microvascular pillars (p = 0.0231), in the absence of changes in either splenic microvascular density (p = 0.3746) or glomerular ultrastructure. The highly significant reduction in uACR in APP/PS1 mice compared to wild-type (p = 0.0079) is consistent with glomerular microvascular dysfunction. These findings highlight early microvascular pathologies in 4- to 5-month-old APP/PS1 transgenic mice and may indicate an amenable target for pharmacological intervention in AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-580
Number of pages14
JournalAngiogenesis
Volume20
Issue number4
Early online date25 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • APP/PS1 mice
  • Microvascular corrosion casting
  • Scanning electron microscopy

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