Microvascular degeneration occurs before plaque onset and progresses with age in 3xTg AD mice

Neurobiol Aging. 2021 Sep;105:115-128. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2021.04.019. Epub 2021 Apr 30.


Heart disease and vascular disease positively correlate with the incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although there is ostensible involvement of dysfunctional cerebrovasculature in AD pathophysiology, the characterization of the specific changes and development of vascular injury during AD remains unclear. In the present study, we established a time-course for the structural changes and degeneration of the angioarchitecture in AD. We used cerebrovascular corrosion cast and µCT imaging to evaluate the geometry, topology, and complexity of the angioarchitecture in the brain of wild type and 3xTg AD mice. We hypothesized that changes to the microvasculature occur early during the disease, and these early identifiable aberrations would be more prominent in the brain subregions implicated in the cognitive decline of AD. Whole-brain analysis of the angioarchitecture indicated early morphological abnormalities and degeneration of microvascular networks in 3xTg AD mice. Our analysis of the hippocampus and cortical subregions revealed microvascular degeneration with onset and progression that was subregion dependent.

Keywords: Aging; Alzheimer's disease; Cerebrovascular degeneration; Corrosion cast; MicroCT; Microvessel.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Aging / pathology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Animals
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Cognition
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Male
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microvessels / diagnostic imaging
  • Microvessels / pathology*
  • Plaque, Amyloid / metabolism*
  • X-Ray Microtomography