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FASEB J. 2006 Apr;20(6):729-31. Epub 2006 Feb 8.

Chronic stress accelerates learning and memory impairments and increases amyloid deposition in APPV717I-CT100 transgenic mice, an Alzheimer's disease model.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, National Creative Research Initiative Centre for Alzheimer's Dementia and Neuroscience Research Institute, MRC, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


Although chronic stress is known to be linked with memory and other neurological disorders, little is known about the relationship between chronic stress and the onset or development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study, we investigated the effects of long-term stress on the onset and severity of cognitive deficits and pathological changes in APPV717I-CT100 mice overexpressing human APP-CT100 containing the London mutation (V717I) after exposure to immobilization stress. We found that chronic immobilization stress accelerated cognitive impairments, as accessed by the Passive avoidance and the Social Transfer of Food Preference (STFP) tests. Moreover, the numbers and densities of vascular and extracellular deposits containing amyloid beta peptide (Abeta) and carboxyl-terminal fragments of amyloid precursor protein (APP-CTFs), which are pathologic markers of AD, were significantly elevated in stressed animals, especially in the hippocampus. Moreover, stressed animals, also showed highly elevated levels of neurodegeneration and tau phosphorylation and increased intraneuronal Abeta and APP-CTFs immunoreactivities in the hippocampus and in the entorhinal and piriform cortex. This study provides the first evidence that chronic stress accelerates the onset and severity of cognitive deficits and that these are highly correlated with pathological changes, which thus indicates that chronic stress may be an important contributor to the onset and development of AD.

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