SPION-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of Alzheimer's disease plaques in AβPP/PS-1 transgenic mouse brain

Laurel O. Sillerud, Nathan O. Solberg, Ryan Chamberlain, Robert A. Orlando, John E. Heidrich, David C. Brown, Christina I. Brady, Thomas A. Vander Jagt, Michael Garwood, David L. Vander Jagt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


In our program to develop non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), we have synthesized antibody-conjugated, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) for use as an in vivo agent for MRI detection of amyloid-β plaques in AD. Here we report studies in AβPP/PS1 transgenic mice, which demonstrate the ability of novel anti-AβPP conjugated SPIONs to penetrate the blood-brain barrier to act as a contrast agent for MR imaging of plaques. The conspicuity of the plaques increased from an average Z-score of 5.1 ± 0.5 to 8.3 ± 0.2 when the plaque contrast to noise ratio was compared in control AD mice with AD mice treated with SPIONs. The number of MRI-visible plaques per brain increased from 347 ± 45 in the control AD mice, to 668 ± 86 in the SPION treated mice. These results indicated that our SPION enhanced amyloid-β detection method delivers an efficacious, non-invasive MRI detection method in transgenic mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-365
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles
  • transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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