Changes in cerebral blood volume and amyloid pathology in aged Alzheimer APP/PS1 mice on a docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) diet or cholesterol enriched Typical Western Diet (TWD)

C R Hooijmans, F Rutters, P J Dederen, G Gambarota, A Veltien, T van Groen, L M Broersen, D Lütjohann, A Heerschap, H Tanila, A J Kiliaan

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High dietary cholesterol and low dietary docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) intake are risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, it is unclear how these components influence the course of the disease. We investigated the effects of dietary lipids on beta-amyloid deposition and blood circulation in the brains of 18-month-old APP/PS1 mice. Starting at 6 months of age, mice were fed a regular rodent chow, a Typical Western Diet (TWD) containing 1% cholesterol, or a diet with a high (0.5%) level of DHA for 12 months. Relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) and flow (CBF) were determined with (2)H MR spectroscopy and gradient echo contrast enhanced MRI. Deposition of beta-amyloid was visualized in fixed brain tissue with immunohistochemistry. The TWD diet increased plaque burden in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, but did not significantly reduce rCBV. In contrast, the DHA-enriched diet increased rCBV without changing blood flow indicating a larger circulation in the brain probably due to vasodilatation and decreased the amount of vascular beta-amyloid deposition. Together, our results indicate that the long-term intake of dietary lipids can impact both brain circulation and beta-amyloid deposition, and support the involvement of hemodynamic changes in the development of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-29
Number of pages14
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


  • Alzheimer Disease/diet therapy
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides/metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor/genetics
  • Animals
  • Brain/blood supply
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation/physiology
  • Cholesterol/adverse effects
  • Diet
  • Dietary Fats/analysis
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids/analysis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Plaque, Amyloid/pathology

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