Hyperspectral Raman imaging of neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in brain tissue from Alzheimer's disease patients

Ralph Michael, Aufried Lenferink, Gijs F.J.M. Vrensen, Ellen Gelpi, Rafael I. Barraquer, Cees Otto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
107 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are crucial morphological criteria for the definite diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. We evaluated 12 unstained frontal cortex and hippocampus samples from 3 brain donors with Alzheimer's disease and 1 control with hyperspectral Raman microscopy on samples of 30 × 30 μm. Data matrices of 64 × 64 pixels were used to quantify different tissue components including proteins, lipids, water and beta-sheets for imaging at 0.47 μm spatial resolution. Hierarchical cluster analysis was performed to visualize regions with high Raman spectral similarities. The Raman images of proteins, lipids, water and beta-sheets matched with classical brain morphology. Protein content was 2.0 times, the beta-sheet content 5.6 times and Raman broad-band autofluorescence was 2.4 times higher inside the plaques and tangles than in the surrounding tissue. The lipid content was practically equal inside and outside. Broad-band autofluorescence showed some correlation with protein content and a better correlation with beta-sheet content. Hyperspectral Raman imaging combined with hierarchical cluster analysis allows for the identification of neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in unstained, label-free slices of human Alzheimer's disease brain tissue. It permits simultaneous quantification and distinction of several tissue components such as proteins, lipids, water and beta-sheets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15603
JournalScientific reports
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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