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Abstract #2374

MRI of longterm changes in vascularization and functional connectivity in a mouse model of vascular cognitive impairment

Philipp Boehm-Sturm1,2, Joseph Kuchling3, Susanne Mueller1,2, Marco Foddis1, Carsten Finke3, Celeste Sassi1, Christoph Harms1, Stefan Paul Koch1, Ulrich Dirnagl1, and Tracy Deanne Farr1,4

1Department of Experimental Neurology, Center for Stroke Research Berlin, and NeuroCure, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 2Charité Core Facility 7T experimental MRIs, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 3Department of Neurology, Berlin Center for Advanced Neuroimaging, NeuroCure Clinical Research Center Neuroimmunology, and Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Charité University Medicine Berlin and Humboldt University Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 4School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom

Chronic mouse brain hypoperfusion produces white matter damage; a feature of vascular cognitive impairment. Despite growing interest in this model, we have struggled to observe a strong phenotype. The present study aimed to improve the phenotype through extended hypoperfusion (6m). We examined the effect on various MR biomarkers including functional connectivity and vascular remodeling. We found massive structural changes including arterial neovessels, small subcortical strokes, and microbleeds. Animals showed behavioral deficits accompanied by changes in resting state MRI signals of the cingulate cortex, which is functionally connected to regions related to behavior (hippocampus) and emotion (amygdala).

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