UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Inhalable Thioflavin S for the Detection of Amyloid Beta Deposits in the Retina Barton, Shawn M.; To, Eleanor; Rogers, Baxter P.; Whitmore, Clayton; Uppal, Manjosh; Matsubara, Joanne A.; Pham, Wellington


We present an integrated delivery technology herein employing the aerosolized method to repurpose thioflavin S for imaging amyloid beta (Abeta) deposits in the retina as a surrogate of Abeta in the brain for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. The data showed that wild type (WT) mice also have Abeta deposits in the retinae, albeit much less than 5XFAD mice. Further, only in 5XFAD mice, significant Abeta deposits were found associated with retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in whole-mount and cross-section data. Furthermore, the fluorescent signal depicted from thioflavin S corroborates with Abeta immunohistochemistry staining information. Overall, this probe delivery via inhalation method is also applicable to other Abeta-binding molecules, such as Congo red, curcumin, and thioflavin T. The advantage of imaging retinal amyloid deposits compared to the brain counterparts is that the eye is easily accessible by in vivo imaging and it reduces the effort to design a probe that must cross the formidable blood-brain barrier.

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