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J Biol Chem. 2006 Dec 22;281(51):39413-23. Epub 2006 Oct 20.

Reduction of soluble Abeta and tau, but not soluble Abeta alone, ameliorates cognitive decline in transgenic mice with plaques and tangles.

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Departments of Neurobiology and Behavior and Neurology, and Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia, University of California, Irvine, California 92697, USA.


Increasing evidence points to soluble assemblies of aggregating proteins as a major mediator of neuronal and synaptic dysfunction. In Alzheimer disease (AD), soluble amyloid-beta (Abeta) appears to be a key factor in inducing synaptic and cognitive abnormalities. Here we report the novel finding that soluble tau also plays a role in the cognitive decline in the presence of concomitant Abeta pathology. We describe improved cognitive function following a reduction in both soluble Abeta and tau levels after active or passive immunization in advanced aged 3xTg-AD mice that contain both amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). Notably, reducing soluble Abeta alone did not improve the cognitive phenotype in mice with plaques and NFTs. Our results show that Abeta immunotherapy reduces soluble tau and ameliorates behavioral deficit in old transgenic mice.

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