While the basis of neuronal degeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD) continues to be debated, the amyloid cascade hypothesis remains central. Amyloid plaques are a required pathological marker for post mortem diagnosis, and Aβ peptide is regarded by most as a critical trigger at the very least. We present spectrochemical image analysis of brain tissue sections obtained with the mid-infrared beamline IRENI (InfraRed ENvironmental Imaging, Synchrotron Radiation Center, U Wisconsin-Madison), where the pixel resolution of 0.54 × 0.54 µm2 permits analysis at sub-cellular dimensions. Spectrochemical images of dense core plaque found in hippocampus and cortex sections of two transgenic mouse models of AD (TgCRND8 and 3×Tg) are compared with plaque images from a 91 year old apoE43 human AD case. Spectral analysis was done in conjunction with histochemical stains of serial sections. A lipid membrane-like spectral signature surrounded and infiltrated the dense core plaques in all cases. Remarkable compositional similarities in early stage plaques suggest similar routes to plaque formation, regardless of genetic predisposition or mammalian origin.
This article is Open Access
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