Monitoring disease progression in transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Malgorzata Marjanska, Geoffrey L. Curran, Thomas M. Wengenack, Pierre Gilles Henry, Robin L. Bliss, Joseph F. Poduslo, R. Jack Clifford, Kâmil Uǧurbil, Michael Garwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


Currently no definitive biomarker of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is available, and this impedes both clinical diagnosis in humans and drug discovery in transgenic animal models. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) provides a noninvasive way to investigate in vivo neurochemical abnormalities. Each observable metabolite can potentially provide information about unique in vivo pathological processes at the molecular or cellular level. In this study, the age-dependent 1H MRS profile of transgenic AD mice was compared to that of wild-type mice. Twenty-seven APP-PS1 mice (which coexpress mutated human presenilin 1 and amyloid-β precursor protein) and 30 wild-type mice age 66-904 days were examined, some repeatedly. A reduction in the levels of N-acetylaspartate and glutamate, compared with total creatine levels, was found in APP-PS1 mice with advancing age. The most striking finding was a dramatic increase in the concentration of myo-inositol with age in APP-PS1 mice, which was not observed in wild-type mice. The age-dependent neurochemical changes observed in APP-PS1 mice agree with results obtained from in vivo human MRS studies. Among the different transgenic mouse models of AD that have been studied with 1H MRS, APP-PS1 mice seem to best match the neurochemical profile exhibited in human AD. 1H MRS could serve as a sensitive in vivo surrogate indicator of therapeutic efficacy in trials of agents designed to reduce neurotoxicity due to microglial activation. Because of its noninvasive and repeatable nature, MRS in transgenic models of AD could substantially accelerate drug discovery for this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11906-11910
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 16 2005


  • Drug discovery
  • Taurine
  • myo-inositol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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