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Anal Chem. 2010 Apr 1;82(7):2711-6. doi: 10.1021/ac1002728.

Fourier transform infrared imaging showing reduced unsaturated lipid content in the hippocampus of a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794, USA.


Polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential to brain functions such as membrane fluidity, signal transduction, and cell survival. It is also thought that low levels of unsaturated lipid in the brain may contribute to Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk or severity. However, it is not known how accumulation of unsaturated lipids is affected in different regions of the hippocampus, which is a central target of AD plaque pathology, during aging. In this study, we used Fourier transform infrared imaging (FTIRI) to visualize the unsaturated lipid content in specific regions of the hippocampus in the PSAPP mouse model of AD as a function of plaque formation. Specifically, the unsaturated lipid content was imaged using the olefinic =CH stretching mode at 3012 cm(-1). The axonal, dendritic, and somatic layers of the hippocampus were examined in the mice at 13, 24, 40, and 56 weeks old. Results showed that lipid unsaturation in the axonal layer was significantly increased with normal aging in control (CNT) mice (p < 0.01) but remained low and relatively constant in PSAPP mice. Thus, these findings indicate that unsaturated lipid content is reduced in hippocampal white matter during amyloid pathogenesis and that maintaining unsaturated lipid content early in the disease may be critical in avoiding progression of the disease.

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