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PLoS One. 2008 Jul 23;3(7):e2750. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002750.

iTRAQ analysis of complex proteome alterations in 3xTgAD Alzheimer's mice: understanding the interface between physiology and disease.

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Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program, Biomedical Research Center, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by progressive cognitive impairment associated with accumulation of amyloid beta-peptide, synaptic degeneration and the death of neurons in the hippocampus, and temporal, parietal and frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex. Analysis of postmortem brain tissue from AD patients can provide information on molecular alterations present at the end of the disease process, but cannot discriminate between changes that are specifically involved in AD versus those that are simply a consequence of neuronal degeneration. Animal models of AD provide the opportunity to elucidate the molecular changes that occur in brain cells as the disease process is initiated and progresses. To this end, we used the 3xTgAD mouse model of AD to gain insight into the complex alterations in proteins that occur in the hippocampus and cortex in AD. The 3xTgAD mice express mutant presenilin-1, amyloid precursor protein and tau, and exhibit AD-like amyloid and tau pathology in the hippocampus and cortex, and associated cognitive impairment. Using the iTRAQ stable-isotope-based quantitative proteomic technique, we performed an in-depth proteomic analysis of hippocampal and cortical tissue from 16 month old 3xTgAD and non-transgenic control mice. We found that the most important groups of significantly altered proteins included those involved in synaptic plasticity, neurite outgrowth and microtubule dynamics. Our findings have elucidated some of the complex proteome changes that occur in a mouse model of AD, which could potentially illuminate novel therapeutic avenues for the treatment of AD and other neurodegenerative disorders.

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