Submyeloablative conditioning with busulfan permits bone marrow-derived cell accumulation in a murine model of Alzheimer's disease

Neurosci Lett. 2015 Feb 19:588:196-201. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2015.01.023. Epub 2015 Jan 9.


Previous work has suggested that bone marrow (BM)-derived cells (BMDCs) accumulate within the CNS and could potentially associate with β-amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease (AD). To explore the accumulation of BMDCs in murine AD, we transplanted green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled BM cells into triple transgenic (3×Tg) and wild-type (wt) mice using non-irradiative myelosuppresive conditioning with busulfan (BU). We find that BU (80mg/kg) is sufficient to obtain adequate chimerism (>85%) in wt mice. In order to obtain appreciable non-irradiative chimerism in the 3×Tg mice (>80%), anti-asialo ganglio-N-tetraosylceramide (α-ASGM-1) antibody was also used to reduce natural killer cell function and thereby abrogate the hybrid resistance of the 3×Tg mouse strain. Using BU conditioning and α-ASGM-1 together, we observed sustained BM chimerism and BMDC accumulation within the CNS of the 3×Tg and wt mice. In cortex and hippocampus, BMDC accumulation was perivascular in distribution and similar between 3×Tg and wt mice, with no clear association between BMDCs and AD plaques. We conclude that non-irradiative BM chimerism can be achieved with BU in 3×Tg mice, but requires α-ASGM-1 (or similar appropriate NK-cell depletion). Use of this chimerism protocol permits BMDCs accumulation in the CNS of mixed strain recipient mice although BMDCs appear to be largely perivascular within cortex and hippocampus.

Keywords: 3×Tg mice; Bone marrow-derived cells; Busulfan; Busulfex; Chimerism; Hybrid resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / drug effects*
  • Bone Marrow Cells / pathology
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Brain / pathology
  • Busulfan / pharmacology*
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • Transplantation Chimera
  • Transplantation Conditioning


  • Busulfan