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Behav Brain Res. 2006 Dec 15;175(2):278-84. Epub 2006 Oct 2.

Over-expression of two different forms of the alpha-secretase ADAM10 affects learning and memory in mice.

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Department of Psychiatry, Johannes Gutenberg University, 55101 Mainz, Germany.


Members of the ADAM family (adisintegrin and metalloprotease) are the main candidates for physiologically relevant alpha-secretases. The alpha-secretase cleaves in the non-amyloidogenic pathway the amyloid precursor protein within the region of the Abeta peptides preventing their aggregation in the brain. The increase of alpha-secretase activity in the brain provides a plausible strategy to prevent Abeta formation. Concerning this possibility two transgenic mouse lines (FVB/N) have been created: mice over-expressing the bovine form of the alpha-secretase (ADAM10) and mice over-expressing an inactive form of the alpha-secretase (ADAM10-E348A-HA; ADAM10-dn). For behavioral examination a F1 generation of transgenic mice (C57Bl/6 x FVB/N (tg)) was generated and compared to wild type F1 generation (C57Bl/6 x FVB/N). Behavior was characterized in the following tasks: standard open field, enriched open field, elevated plus-maze, and the Morris water maze hidden platform task. Concerning basal activity, exploration, and anxiety, transgenic mice behaved similar to controls. With respect to learning and memory both transgenic lines showed a significant deficit compared to controls. ADAM10 mice however, showed thigmotaxis with passive floating behavior in the Morris water maze indicating differences in motivation, whereas, ADAM10-dn mice displayed an inconspicuous but limited goal-directed search pattern. Thus variation of the enzymatic activity of alpha-secretase ADAM10 alters learning and memory differentially. Nevertheless, it could be concluded that both, ADAM10 and ADAM10-dn mice are suitable control mice for the assessment of alpha-secretase-related effects in animal models of Alzheimer's disease.

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