5 years ago

Longitudinal noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging of brain microhemorrhages in BACE inhibitor–treated APP transgenic mice

Currently, several immunotherapies and BACE (Beta Site APP Cleaving Enzyme) inhibitor approaches are being tested in the clinic for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. A crucial mechanism-related safety concern is the exacerbation of microhemorrhages, which are already present in the majority of Alzheimer patients. To investigate potential safety liabilities of long-term BACE inhibitor therapy, we used aged amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgenic mice (APP23), which robustly develop cerebral amyloid angiopathy. T2*-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a translational method applicable in preclinical and clinical studies, was used for the detection of microhemorrhages throughout the entire brain, with subsequent histological validation. Three-dimensional reconstruction based on in vivo MRI and serial Perls' stained sections demonstrated a one-to-one matching of the lesions thus allowing for their histopathological characterization. MRI detected small Perls' positive areas with a high spatial resolution. Our data demonstrate that volumetric assessment by noninvasive MRI is well suited to monitor cerebral microhemorrhages in vivo. Furthermore, 3 months treatment of aged APP23 with the potent BACE-inhibitor NB-360 did not exacerbate microhemorrhages in contrast to Aβ-antibody β1. These results substantiate the safe use of BACE inhibitors regarding microhemorrhages in long-term clinical studies for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0197458016300719

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