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Chronic inflammation is known to occur in the brains of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) patients, including the presence of activated microglia close to amyloid plaques. We utilised real time autoradiography and immunohistochemistry to investigate microglial activation and the potential anti-inflammatory effects of PPARgamma agonists in the Thy-1 APP695swe/Thy-1 PS-1.M146V (TASTPM) overexpressing transgenic mouse model of AD. An age dependent increase in specific [3H](R)-PK11195 binding to peripheral benzodiazepine receptors (PBR)/translocator protein (18 kDa) (TSPO) was observed in the cortex of TASTPM mice compared to wild type mice, indicative of microglial activation. This was consistent with immunohistochemical data showing age-dependent increases in CD68 immunoreactivity co-localised with amyloid beta (Abeta) deposits. In 10 month old TASTPM mice, pioglitazone (20 mg/kg) and ciglitazone (50 mg/kg) significantly reduced [3H](R)-PK11195 and [3H]DPA-713 binding in cortex and hippocampus, indicative of reduced microglial activation. In AD brain, significant [3H](R)-PK11195 and [3H]DPA-713 binding was observed across all stages of the disease. These results support the use of PBR/TSPO autoradiography in TASTPM mice as a functional readout of microglial activation to assess anti-inflammatory drugs prior to evaluation in AD patients.


Journal article


Exp Neurol

Publication Date





459 - 470


Acetamides, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alzheimer Disease, Amyloid beta-Peptides, Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor, Animals, Antigens, CD, Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic, Autoradiography, Brain Mapping, Cerebral Cortex, Female, Humans, Isoquinolines, Male, Mice, Mice, Transgenic, Neuroglia, PPAR gamma, Peptide Fragments, Presenilin-1, Protein Binding, Pyrazoles, Pyrimidines, Receptors, GABA, Receptors, GABA-A, Thiazolidinediones, Time Factors