Glutamate (Glu) is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and has been shown to decrease in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Using a glutamate chemical (amine) exchange saturation transfer (GluCEST) method, we imaged the change in [Glu] in the APP-PS1 transgenic mouse model of AD at high spatial resolution. Compared with wild-type controls, AD mice exhibited a notable reduction in GluCEST contrast (~30%) in all areas of the brain. The change in [Glu] was further validated through (1) H MRS. A positive correlation was observed between GluCEST contrast and (1) H MRS-measured Glu/total creatine ratio. This method potentially provides a novel noninvasive biomarker for the diagnosis of the disease in preclinical stages and enables the development of disease-modifying therapies for AD.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; MRI; MRS; brain; chemical exchange saturation transfer imaging; glutamate.
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.