The ability to detect individual Alzheimer's amyloid plaques in vivo by magnetic resonance microimaging (MRI) should improve diagnosis and also accelerate discovery of effective therapeutic agents for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we perform in vivo and ex vivo MRI on double transgenic AD mice as well as wild-type mice at varying ages and correlate these with thioflavin-S and iron staining histology. Quantitative counts of individual plaques on MRI increase with age and correlate with histologically determined plaque burden. Plaques 20 μ in diameter can be detected in AD mice as young as 3 months of age with ex vivo MRI. Plaques 35 μm in diameter can be detected by 9 months of age with in vivo MRI. In vivo MRI of individual Alzheimer's amyloid plaques provides a noninvasive estimate of plaque burden in transgenic AD mice that might be useful in assessing the efficacy of amyloid reduction therapies.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Magnetic resonance microimaging
- Transgenic mice