Correlative x-ray phase-contrast tomography and histology of human braintissue affected by Alzheimer’s disease


Töpperwien M, van der Meer F, Stadelmann-Nessler C, Salditt T




Neuroimage 2020 Apr 15;210:116523.


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder which is characterized by increasing dementia. It isaccompanied by the development of extracellularβ-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the gray matterof the brain. Histology is the gold standard for the visualization of this pathology, but also has intrinsic short-comings. Fully three-dimensional analysis and quantitative metrics of alterations in the tissue structure require acomplementary approach. In this work we use x-ray phase-contrast tomography to obtain three-dimensionalreconstructions of human hippocampal tissue affected by AD. Due to intrinsic electron density differences, tis-sue components and structures such as the granule cells of the dentate gyrus, blood vessels, or mineralized plaquescan be identified and segmented in large volumes. Based on correlative histology, protein (tau,β-amyloid) andelemental content (iron, calcium) can be attributed to certain morphological features occurring in the entirevolume. In the vicinity of senile plaques, an accumulation of microglia in combination with a loss of neuronal cellscan be observed.



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