Multiple inflammatory profiles of microglia and altered neuroimages in APP/PS1 transgenic AD mice

Lifen Liu, Yutong Liu, Nana Li, Runzhi Huang, Ximing Zheng, Liang Huang, Shuangxin Hou, Qionglan Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Aβ plaques of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are believed to precede cognitive deficits or clinical manifestation by decades. However, validated biomarkers for early diagnosis of the AD disease are still not available. In this present study, we combined MRI-based neuroimages and histological assessment of the glial response and altered cytokines, neurogenesis during the early course of Aβ deposits in TgAPP/PS1 mice to find potential early biomarkers for AD. We found that microglia and astrocytes were initially activated and clustered around Aβ plaques at the age of 6 months and significantly increased with age from 6–12 months of age. Confocal microscope analysis revealed that microglia not astrocytes began to phagocytose Aβ in 6-month-old TgAPP/PS1 mice, evidenced by the intracellular Aβ in Iba1 positive microglia not in GFAP positive astrocytes. In parallel with these observations, we found that mainly clustered microglia significantly upregulated the production of proinflammatory factors including TNF-α, iNOS and IL-1β, and anti-inflammatory cytokines including IL-4, TGF-β and extracellular protecting matrix YM-1 and enzyme arginase 1 (Arg1) at 6–12 months of age. Interestingly, reactive astrocyte did not express these cytokines and YM-1 and Arg1. These results may suggest that microglia rather than astrocytes play crucial roles in clearing Aβ and neuroinflammation in early stage of AD. In addition, the number of neural stem cells labeled by BrdU and immature neurons labeled by doublecortin was significantly decreased in 3-month-old TgAPP/PS1 mice ahead of Aβ deposits. Finally, DTI conforms that reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) in dentate gyrus of hippocampus and rs-MRI shows an increased connectivity in the networks of somatosensory cortex-caudoputamen and insula in TgAPP/PS1 mice at 6 months. These findings provide a clue to early biomarkers for diagnosis of the AD disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-104
Number of pages19
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Glial response
  • MRI-based neuroimages
  • Neurogenesis
  • Neuroinflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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