Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a consequence of complex interactions of age-related neurodegeneration and vascular-associated pathologies, affecting more than 44 million people worldwide. For the last decade, it has been suggested that chronic brain hypoperfusion and consequent hypoxia play a direct role in the pathogenesis of AD. However, current treatments of AD have not focused on restoring or improving microvascular perfusion. In a previous study, we showed that drag reducing polymers (DRP) enhance cerebral blood flow and tissue oxygenation. We hypothesised that haemorheologic enhancement of cerebral perfusion by DRP would be useful for treating Alzheimer's disease. We used double transgenic B6C3-Tg(APPswe, PSEN1dE9) 85Dbo/Mmjax AD mice. DRP or vehicle (saline) was i.v. injected every week starting at four months of age till 12 months of age (10 mice/group). In-vivo 2-photon laser scanning microscopy was used to evaluate amyloid plaques development, cerebral microcirculation, and tissue oxygen supply/metabolic status (NADH autofluorescence). The imaging sessions were repeated once a month till 12 months of age. Statistical analyses were done by independent Student's t-test or Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests where appropriate. Differences between groups and time were determined using a two-way repeated measures ANOVA analysis for multiple comparisons and post hoc testing using the Mann-Whitney U test. In the vehicle group, numerous plaques completely formed in the cortex by nine months of age. The development of plaques accumulation was accompanied by cerebral microcirculation disturbances, reduction in tissue oxygen supply and metabolic impairment (NADH increase). DRP mitigated microcirculation and tissue oxygen supply reduction - microvascular perfusion was 29.5 ± 5%, and tissue oxygen supply was 22 ± 4% higher than in the vehicle group (p < 0.05). In the DRP group, amyloid plaques deposition was substantially less than in the vehicle group (p < 0.05). Thus, rheological enhancement of blood flow by DRP is associated with reduced rate of beta amyloid plaques deposition in AD mice.
Keywords: 2-photon laser scanning; Hypoperfusion; NADH autofluorescence; Neurodegeneration.
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