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Keywords:

  • magnetization transfer;
  • MRI;
  • amyloid beta;
  • Alzheimer's disease

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to determine if magnetization transfer contrast (MTC) imaging could be used to detect early macromolecular accumulation in a mouse model of early Alzheimer's disease.

Methods

We obtained MTC images at 9.4 T at three different age points in the Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. The Tg2576 mouse exhibits increased amyloid beta deposition that eventually progresses into amyloid beta plaque formation, increased hyper-phosphorylated tau but does not exhibit neurodegeneration.

Results

Our results show an increase in the MTC signal that predates plaque formation and reported learning and memory deficits in the Tg2576 mouse. This increase in the MTC signal was reversed in a model of antioxidant therapy.

Conclusion

MTC magnetic resonance imaging can be used to detect early macromolecular changes in the Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. The source of the MTC contrast is likely complex and warrants further investigation in additional preclinical models that represent early and late stage Alzheimer's disease pathologies. Magn Reson Med 71:333–338, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.