In vivo molecular neuroimaging of glucose utilization and its association with fibrillar amyloid-β load in aged APPPS1-21 mice.Alzheimers Res Ther. 2015 Dec 15; 7(1):76.AR
Radioligand imaging is a powerful in vivo method to assess the molecular basis of Alzheimer's Disease. We therefore aimed to visualize the pathological deposition of fibrillar amyloid-β and neuronal dysfunction in aged double transgenic mice.
Using non-invasive positron emission tomography (PET) we assessed brain glucose utilization with [(18)F]FDG and fibrillar amyloidosis with [(11)C]PiB and [(18)F]AV45 in 12 month old APPPS1-21 (n = 10) mice and their age-matched wild-type controls (n = 15). PET scans were analyzed with statistical parametric mapping (SPM) to detect significant differences in tracer uptake between genotypes. After imaging, mice were sacrificed and ex vivo measures of amyloid-β burden with immunohistochemistry as well as glucose utilization with [(14)C]-2DG autoradiography were obtained as gold standards.
Voxel-wise SPM analysis revealed significantly decreased [(18)F]FDG uptake in aged APPPS1-21 mice in comparison to WT with the thalamus (96.96 %, maxT = 3.35) and striatum (61.21 %, maxT = 3.29) demonstrating the most widespread reductions at the threshold of p < 0.01. [(11)C]PiB binding was significantly increased in APPPS1-21 mice, most notably in the hippocampus (87.84 %, maxT = 7.15) and cortex (69.08 %, maxT = 7.95), as detected by SPM voxel-wise analysis at the threshold of p < 0.01. Using the same threshold [(18)F]AV45 uptake was comparably lower with less significant differences. Compared to their respective ex vivo equivalents [(18)F]FDG demonstrated significant positive correlation to [(14)C]2-DG autoradiography (r = 0.67, p <0.0001) while [(11)C]PiB and [(18)F]AV45 binding did not correlate to ex vivo immunohistochemistry for amyloid-β (r = 0.25, p = 0.07 and r = 0.17, p = 0.26 respectively). Lastly no correlation was observed between regions of high amyloid burden and those with decreased glucose utilization (r = 0.001, p = 0.99).
Our findings support that fibrillar amyloid-β deposition and reduced glucose utilization can be visualized and quantified with in vivo μPET imaging in aged APPPS1-21 mice. Therefore, the combined use of [(18)F]FDG and amyloid μPET imaging can shed light on the underlying relationship between fibrillar amyloid-β pathology and neuronal dysfunction.