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Exp Neurol. 2005 Jun;193(2):469-80.

Abnormal APP, cholinergic and cognitive function in Ts65Dn Down's model mice.

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  • 1Neuroregeneration Laboratories, Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478, USA.


We evaluated Ts65Dn Down's syndrome mice and their littermates (LM) at 1-2, 4, and 12 months of age to determine amyloid precursor protein (APP)-related cellular and biochemical changes associated with cognitive deficits. Ts65Dn mice showed cognitive deficits in the Morris water maze compared to LM mice at 4 and 12 months of age. Ts65Dn, but not LM mice, developed a septohippocampal cholinergic neuronal degeneration of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-positive neurons at 12 months of age. These cellular changes were compensated by increases in ChAT enzyme activity of remaining cholinergic terminals in the hippocampus. By 12 months of age, Ts65Dn mice had elevations of APP protein levels in the hippocampus compared to their LM. At this age, both Ts65Dn mice and their LM abnormally responded to cholinergic muscarinic M1 agonist treatment in terms of hippocampal APP, nerve growth factor (NGF), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels compared to young adult C57BL/6 mice. In summary, the Ts65Dn mice show developmental and progressive age-related behavioral deficits, hippocampal APP, and cholinergic pathology. The relatively better cognitive spatial performance in LM compared to Ts65Dn mice suggests that high APP levels combined with progressive degeneration of the cholinergic system are critical to the pathology and cognitive deficits seen in Ts65Dn mice.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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