Effects of mild chronic cerebral hypoperfusion and early amyloid pathology on spatial learning and the cellular innate immune response in mice

Neurobiol Aging. 2013 Mar;34(3):679-93. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2012.06.025. Epub 2012 Jul 20.


Understanding the contribution of cerebrovascular factors in the progression of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a key step for the development of preventive therapies. Among these factors, chronic cerebral hypoperfusion is an early component of AD pathogenesis that can predict the progression from mild cognitive impairment to AD. Here, we investigated the effects of a protocol of mild chronic cerebral hypoperfusion in the APPswe/PS1 transgenic mouse model of AD. We observed that the permanent occlusion of the right common carotid artery induced spatial learning impairments in young APPswe/PS1 mice, but not in their wild type littermates. Furthermore, the extent of learning deficits strongly correlated with the number of cortical β-amyloid plaques, with the mobilization of monocytes into the blood and with the number of bone marrow-derived microglia in the brain. These results indicate that a mild reduction of cerebral blood flow can selectively induce cognitive deficits at an early stage of amyloid pathology, eliciting a cellular innate immune response, even without causing neuronal death.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / genetics
  • Alzheimer Disease* / immunology
  • Alzheimer Disease* / pathology
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Brain Ischemia* / immunology
  • Brain Ischemia* / pathology
  • Brain Ischemia* / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Cortex* / blood supply
  • Cerebral Cortex* / immunology
  • Cerebral Cortex* / pathology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene-Environment Interaction
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Immunity, Cellular / immunology*
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microglia / cytology
  • Microglia / immunology
  • Monocytes / cytology
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Plaque, Amyloid / pathology


  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor