Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder, is characterized by the invariant cerebral accumulation of β-amyloid peptide. This event occurs early in the disease process. In humans, [18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose ([18F]-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) is largely used to follow-up in vivo cerebral glucose utilization (CGU) and brain metabolism modifications associated with the Alzheimer's disease pathology. Here, [18F]-FDG positron emission tomography was used to study age-related changes of cerebral glucose utilization under resting conditions in 3-, 6-, and 12-month-old APP(SweLon)/PS1(M146L), a mouse model of amyloidosis. We showed an age-dependent increase of glucose uptake in several brain regions of APP/PS1 mice but not in control animals and a higher [18F]-FDG uptake in the cortex and the hippocampus of 12-month-old APP/PS1 mice as compared with age-matched control mice. We then developed a method of 3-D microscopic autoradiography to evaluate glucose uptake at the level of amyloid plaques and showed an increased glucose uptake close to the plaques rather than in amyloid-free cerebral tissues. These data suggest a macroscopic and microscopic reorganization of glucose uptake in relation to cerebral amyloidosis.
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