Adequate assessment of plaque deposition levels in the brain of mouse models of Alzheimer disease (AD) is required in many core issues of studies on AD, including studies on the mechanisms underlying plaque pathogenesis, identification of cellular factors modifying plaque pathology, and developments of anti-AD drugs. The present study was undertaken to quantitatively evaluate plaque deposition patterns in the brains of the two popular AD models, Tg2576 and Tg-APPswe/ PS1dE9 mice. Coronally-cut brain sections of Tg2576 and Tg-APPswe/PS1dE9 mice were prepared and plaque depositions were visualized by staining with anti- amyloid β peptides antibody. Microscopic images of plaque depositions in the prefrontal cortex, parietal cortex, piriform cortex and hippocampus were obtained and the number of plaques in each region was determined by a computer-aided image analysis method. A series of optical images representing a gradual increase of plaque deposition levels were selected in the four different brain regions and were assigned in each with a numerical grade of 1-6, where +1 was lowest and +6, highest, so that plaques per unit in mm(2) increased "sigmoidally" over the grading scales. Analyzing plaque depositions using the photographic plaque reference panels and a computer-aid image analysis method, it was demonstrated that the brains of Tg2576 mice started to accumulate predominantly small plaques, while the brains of Tg-APPswe/PS1dE9 mice deposited relatively large plaques.
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