PiB fails to map amyloid deposits in cerebral cortex of aged dogs with canine cognitive dysfunction

Rikke Fast, Anders Rodell, Albert Gjedde, Kim Mouridsen, Aage K. Alstrup, Carsten R. Bjarkam, Mark J. West, Mette Berendt, Arne Møller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dogs with Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD) accumulate amyloid beta (Aβ) in the brain. As the cognitive decline and neuropathology of these old dogs share features with Alzheimer's disease (AD), the relation between Aβ and cognitive decline in animal models of cognitive decline is of interest to the understanding of AD. However, the sensitivity of the biomarker Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB) to the presence of Aβ in humans and in other mammalian species is in doubt. To test the sensitivity and assess the distribution of Aβ in dog brain, we mapped the brains of dogs with signs of CCD (n = 16) and a control group (n = 4) of healthy dogs with radioactively labeled PiB ([11C]PiB). Structural magnetic resonance imaging brain scans were obtained from each dog. Tracer washout analysis yielded parametric maps of PiB retention in brain. In the CCD group, dogs had significant retention of [11C]PiB in the cerebellum, compared to the cerebral cortex. Retention in the cerebellum is at variance with evidence from brains of humans with AD. To confirm the lack of sensitivity, we stained two dog brains with the immunohistochemical marker 6E10, which is sensitive to the presence of both Aβ and Aβ precursor protein (AβPP). The 6E10 stain revealed intracellular material positive for Aβ or AβPP, or both, in Purkinje cells. The brains of the two groups of dogs did not have significantly different patterns of [11C]PiB binding, suggesting that the material detected with 6E10 is AβPP rather than Aβ. As the comparison with the histological images revealed no correlation between the [11C]PiB and Aβ and AβPP deposits in post-mortem brain, the marked intracellular staining implies intracellular involvement of amyloid processing in the dog brain. We conclude that PET maps of [11C]PiB retention in brain of dogs with CCD fundamentally differ from the images obtained in most humans with AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 99
JournalFrontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Issue numberDEC
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • 6E10 immunohistochemistry
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Beta-amyloid
  • Canine cognitive dysfunction
  • Dog
  • Pittsburgh compound B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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