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Neuroreport. 2001 May 25;12(7):1377-84.

Survival and plasticity of basal forebrain cholinergic systems in mice transgenic for presenilin-1 and amyloid precursor protein mutant genes.

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Department of Pharmacology, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA.


The basalo-cortical cholinergic system was characterized in mice expressing mutant human genes for presenilin-1 (PS1), amyloid precursor protein (APP), and combined PS/APP. Dual immunocytochemistry for ChAT and A beta revealed swollen cholinergic processes within cortical plaques in both APP and PS/APP brains by 12 months, suggesting aberrant sprouting or redistribution of cholinergic processes in response to amyloid deposition. At 8 months, cortical and subcortical ChAT activity was normal (PS/APP) or elevated (PS, APP frontal cortex), while cholinergic cell counts (nBM/SI) and receptor binding were unchanged. ChAT mRNA was up-regulated in the nBM/SI of all three transgenic lines at 8 months. The data indicate that the basal forebrain cholinergic system does not degenerate in mice expressing AD-related transgenes, even in mice with extreme amyloid load. The.

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