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Neurobiol Aging. 2013 Jan;34(1):351-4. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2012.04.016. Epub 2012 May 30.

Imaging microglial activation and glucose consumption in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

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European Institute for Molecular Imaging, Westfalian Wilhelms-University Münster, Münster, Germany.


In Alzheimer's disease (AD), persistent microglial activation as sign of chronic neuroinflammation contributes to disease progression. Our study aimed to in vivo visualize and quantify microglial activation in 13- to 15-month-old AD mice using [(11)C]-(R)-PK11195 and positron emission tomography (PET). We attempted to modulate neuroinflammation by subjecting the animals to an anti-inflammatory treatment with pioglitazone (5-weeks' treatment, 5-week wash-out period). [(11)C]-(R)-PK11195 distribution volume values in AD mice were significantly higher compared with control mice after the wash-out period at 15 months, which was supported by immunohistochemistry data. However, [(11)C]-(R)-PK11195 μPET could not demonstrate genotype- or treatment-dependent differences in the 13- to 14-month-old animals, suggesting that microglial activation in AD mice at this age and disease stage is too mild to be detected by this imaging method.

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