New insights into cerebral amyloid angiopathy using this rat model may advance research on cognitive impairment, particularly Alzheimer disease, according to a new study in The American Journal of Pathology
The investigators describe the generation of a successful novel transgenic rat model that accumulates amyloid specifically in brain blood vessels and strongly mimics many of the associated detrimental changes that are observed in humans – a condition known as cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), which is also commonly observed in Alzheimer disease.
Accumulation of β-amyloid in brain tissue is considered a hallmark pathological finding of Alzheimer disease. Less well known is that β-amyloid deposits are also found in small blood vessels of the brain, the condition known as CAA, which is also associated with impaired cognition and dementia. The lack of reliable preclinical animal models has limited our understanding of CAA.
Useful biomarkers for CAA
Transgenic rats mimic many of the characteristics of human pathology, including amyloid deposits in small blood vessels in the brain, capillary structural changes, neuroinflammation, and microhemorrhages. “The transgenic rats, known as rTg-DI, develop progressive accumulation of brain blood vessel amyloid–associated inflammation, small bleeds, and occluded vessels in the brain and exhibit cognitive impairments,” explained William E. Van Nostrand, PhD, of the George and Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience, Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, of the University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, USA. “Although rats are still far from a perfect model to investigate CAA, the new model described here more completely mimics the pathological changes observed in the human brain and offers a better opportunity to test potential therapeutic interventions and develop useful biomarkers for this condition.”
Source: Elsevier | November 13, 2018