Detection of Alzheimer's amyloid in transgenic mice using magnetic resonance microimaging

Youssef Zaim Wadghiri, Einar M. Sigurdsson, Marcin Sadowski, James I. Elliott, Yongsheng Li, Henrieta Scholtzova, Cheuk Ying Tang, Gilbert Aguinaldo, Miguel Pappolla, Karen Duff, Thomas Wisniewski, Daniel H. Turnbull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Scopus citations


The presence of amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques in the brain is a hallmark pathological feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Transgenic mice overexpressing mutant amyloid precursor protein (APP), or both mutant APP and presenilin-1 (APP/PS1), develop Aβ plaques similar to those in AD patients, and have been proposed as animal models in which to test experimental therapeutic approaches for the clearance of Aβ. However, at present there is no in vivo wholebrain imaging method to detect Aβ plaques in mice or men. A novel method is presented to detect Aβ plaques in the brains of transgenic mice by magnetic resonance microimaging (μMRI). This method uses Aβ1-40 peptide, known for its high binding affinity to Aβ, magnetically labeled with either gadolinium (Gd) or monocrystalline iron oxide nanoparticles (MION). Intraarterial injection of magnetically labeled Aβ1-40, with mannitol to transiently open the blood-brain barrier (BBB), enabled the detection of many Aβ plaques. Furthermore, the numerical density of Aβ plaques detected by μMRI and by immunohistochemistry showed excellent correlation. This approach provides an in vivo method to detect Aβ in AD transgenic mice, and suggests that diagnostic MRI methods to detect Aβ in AD patients may ultimately be feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-302
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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