Mutant G2019S-LRRK2 Induces Abnormalities in Arteriolar Cerebral Blood Volume in Mouse Brains: An MRI Study

Bo Ning, Gongbo Guo, Chunming Gu, Jiadi Xu, Adnan Bibic, Xiaofei He, Hongshuai Liu, Lin Chen, Zhiliang Wei, Wenzhen Duan, Peiying Liu, Hanzhang Lu, Peter C.M. Van Zijl, Christopher A. Ross, Wanli Smith, Jun Hua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and the most common movement disorder characterized by motor impairments resulting from midbrain dopamine neuron loss. Abnormalities in small pial arteries and arterioles, which are the primary pathways of local delivery of nutrients and oxygen in brain tissue, have been reported in many neurodegenerative diseases including PD. Mutations in LRRK2 cause genetic PD and contribute to sporadic PD. The most common PD-linked mutation LRRK2 G2019S contributes 20-47% of genetic forms of PD in Caucasian populations. The human LRRK2 G2019S transgenic mouse model displays PD-like movement impairment and was used to identify novel LRRK2 inhibitors, which provides a useful model for studying microvascular abnormalities in PD. Objectives: To investigate abnormalities in arteriolar cerebral blood volume (CBVa) in various brain regions using the inflow-based vascular-space occupancy (iVASO) MRI technique in LRRK2 mouse models of PD. Methods: Anatomical and iVASO MRI scans were performed in 5 female and 7 male nontransgenic (nTg), 3 female and 4 male wild-type (WT) LRRK2, and 5 female and 7 male G2019S-LRRK2 mice of 9 months of age. CBVa was calculated and compared in the substantia nigra (SN), olfactory cortex, and prefrontal cortex. Results: Compared to nTg mice, G2019S-LRRK2 mice showed decreased CBVa in the SN, but increased CBVa in the olfactory and prefrontal cortex in both male and female groups, whereas WT-LRRK2 mice showed no change in CBVa in the SN (male and female), the olfactory (female), and prefrontal (female) cortex, but a slight increase in CBVa in the olfactory and prefrontal cortex in the male group only. Conclusions: Alterations in the blood volume of small arteries and arterioles (CBVa) were detected in the G2019S-LRRK2 mouse model of PD. The opposite changes in CBVa in the SN and the cortex indicate that PD pathology may have differential effects in different brain regions. Our results suggest the potential value of CBVa as a marker for clinical PD studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalNeurodegenerative Diseases
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Blood vessel
  • Inflow-based vascular-space occupancy
  • Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Perfusion
  • Substantia nigra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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