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Unambiguous Detection of Elevated Levels of Hypochlorous Acid in Double Transgenic AD Mouse Brain

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journal contribution
posted on 10.12.2019, 15:35 authored by Sourav Samanta, Thimmaiah Govindaraju
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of the most prevalent forms of dementia. The current diagnosis methods based on the behavior and cognitive decline or imaging of core biomarkers, namely, amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), in the brain offer poor to moderate success. Detection and imaging of biomarkers that cause additional traits of pathophysiological aberrations in the brain are invaluable to monitor early disease onset and progression of AD pathology. The pathological hallmark of AD is associated with generation of excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the brain, which aggravate oxidative stress and inflammation. ROS production involves elevated levels of hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and can serve as one of the potential biomarkers for the diagnosis of AD. We report the design, synthesis, and characterization of switchable coumarin-morpholine (CM) conjugates as off-on fluorescence probes for the specific detection of HOCl produced and proximally localized with amyloid plaques. The nonfluorescent thioamide probe CM2 undergoes regioselective transformation to fluorescent amide probe CM1 in the presence of HOCl (∼90-fold fluorescence enhancement and 0.32 quantum yield) with high selectivity and sensitivity (detection limit: 0.17 μM). The excellent cellular uptake and blood-brain barrier (BBB) crossing ability of CM2 allowed unambiguous and differential detection, imaging, and quantification of HOCl in cellular milieu and in the wild type (WT) and AD mouse brains. This study demonstrates the elevated level of HOCl in the AD mouse brain and the potential to expand the repertoire of biomarkers for the diagnosis of AD.