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Biospectroscopic Imaging Provides Evidence of Hippocampal Zn Deficiency and Decreased Lipid Unsaturation in an Accelerated Aging Mouse Model

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journal contribution
posted on 14.06.2018, 00:00 by Nicholas Fimognari, Ashley Hollings, Virginie Lam, Rebecca J. Tidy, Cameron M. Kewish, Matthew A. Albrecht, Ryu Takechi, John C. L. Mamo, Mark J. Hackett
Western society is facing a health epidemic due to the increasing incidence of dementia in aging populations, and there are still few effective diagnostic methods, minimal treatment options, and no cure. Aging is the greatest risk factor for memory loss that occurs during the natural aging process, as well as being the greatest risk factor for neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s disease. Greater understanding of the biochemical pathways that drive a healthy aging brain toward dementia (pathological aging or Alzheimer’s disease), is required to accelerate the development of improved diagnostics and therapies. Unfortunately, many animal models of dementia model chronic amyloid precursor protein overexpression, which although highly relevant to mechanisms of amyloidosis and familial Alzheimer’s disease, does not model well dementia during the natural aging process. A promising animal model reported to model mechanisms of accelerated natural aging and memory impairments, is the senescence accelerated murine prone strain 8 (SAMP8), which has been adopted by many research group to study the biochemical transitions that occur during brain aging. A limitation to traditional methods of biochemical characterization is that many important biochemical and elemental markers (lipid saturation, lactate, transition metals) cannot be imaged at meso- or microspatial resolution. Therefore, in this investigation, we report the first multimodal biospectroscopic characterization of the SAMP8 model, and have identified important biochemical and elemental alterations, and colocalizations, between 4 month old SAMP8 mice and the relevant control (SAMR1) mice. Specifically, we demonstrate direct evidence of Zn deficiency within specific subregions of the hippocampal CA3 sector, which colocalize with decreased lipid unsaturation. Our findings also revealed colocalization of decreased lipid unsaturation and increased lactate in the corpus callosum white matter, adjacent to the hippocampus. Such findings may have important implication for future research aimed at elucidating specific biochemical pathways for therapeutic intervention.