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Open Access Research

Temporal course of cerebrospinal fluid dynamics and amyloid accumulation in the aging rat brain from three to thirty months

Catherine Chiu1, Miles C Miller1, Ilias N Caralopoulos1, Michael S Worden2, Thomas Brinker1, Zachary N Gordon1, Conrad E Johanson1 and Gerald D Silverberg1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University and Aldrich Neurosurgery Research Laboratories, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI, 02903, USA

2 Brown Institute for Brain Science, MRI Research Facility, Providence, RI, 02912, USA

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Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 2012, 9:3  doi:10.1186/2045-8118-9-3

Published: 23 January 2012

Abstract

Background

Amyloid accumulation in the brain parenchyma is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and is seen in normal aging. Alterations in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamics are also associated with normal aging and AD. This study analyzed CSF volume, production and turnover rate in relation to amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ) accumulation in the aging rat brain.

Methods

Aging Fischer 344/Brown-Norway hybrid rats at 3, 12, 20, and 30 months were studied. CSF production was measured by ventriculo-cisternal perfusion with blue dextran in artificial CSF; CSF volume by MRI; and CSF turnover rate by dividing the CSF production rate by the volume of the CSF space. Aβ40 and Aβ42 concentrations in the cortex and hippocampus were measured by ELISA.

Results

There was a significant linear increase in total cranial CSF volume with age: 3-20 months (p < 0.01); 3-30 months (p < 0.001). CSF production rate increased from 3-12 months (p < 0.01) and decreased from 12-30 months (p < 0.05). CSF turnover showed an initial increase from 3 months (9.40 day-1) to 12 months (11.30 day-1) and then a decrease to 20 months (10.23 day-1) and 30 months (6.62 day-1). Aβ40 and Aβ42 concentrations in brain increased from 3-30 months (p < 0.001). Both Aβ42 and Aβ40 concentrations approached a steady state level by 30 months.

Conclusions

In young rats there is no correlation between CSF turnover and Aβ brain concentrations. After 12 months, CSF turnover decreases as brain Aβ continues to accumulate. This decrease in CSF turnover rate may be one of several clearance pathway alterations that influence age-related accumulation of brain amyloid.

Keywords:
Aging; Alzheimer's disease; CSF turnover; Amyloid accumulation