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CNS Spectr. 2005 Mar;10(3):207-22.

APP23 mice as a model of Alzheimer's disease: an example of a transgenic approach to modeling a CNS disorder.

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  • 1Laboratory of Neurochemistry and Behaviour, Institute Born-Bunge, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium.


Animal models are considered essential in research ensuing elucidation of human disease processes and subsequently, testing of potential therapeutic strategies. This is especially true for neurodegenerative disorders, in which the first steps in pathogenesis are often not accessible in human patients. Alzheimer's disease is vastly becoming a major medical and socioeconomic problem in our aging society. Valid animal models for this uniquely human condition should exhibit histopathological, biochemical, cognitive, and behavioral alterations observed in Alzheimer's disease patients. Major progress has been made since the understanding of the genetic basis of Alzheimer's disease and the development and improvement of transgenic mouse models. All present Alzheimer's disease models developed are partial but nevertheless essential in further unraveling the nature and spatial and temporal development of the complex molecular pathology underlying this condition. One of the more recent transgenic attempts to model Alzheimer's disease is the APP23 transgenic mouse. This article describes the development and assessment of this human amyloid precursor protein overexpression model. We summarize histopathological and biochemical, cognitive and behavioral observations made in heterozygous APP23 mice, thereby emphasizing the model's contribution to clarification of neurodegenerative disease mechanisms. In addition, the first therapeutic interventions in the APP23 model are included.

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