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Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2008 Jan 1;1(2):157-68.

Seizure susceptibility and mortality in mice that over-express amyloid precursor protein.

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Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Waisman Center for Developmental Disabilities, University of Wisconsin Madison, WI 53705, USA.


Alzheimer's disease and Fragile X syndrome both display synaptic phenotypes, and based on recent studies, likely share dendritic over expression of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and beta-amyloid (Abeta). In order to create a mouse model to specifically study the effects of APP and Abeta at synapses, we crossed Tg2576, which over-express human APP with the Swedish mutation (hAPPsw), with fmr-1 KO mice. The progeny, named FRAXAD, displayed increased mortality (23% by 30 days of age) compared to Tg2576 (3%) and WT and fmr-1 KO littermate controls (0%) consistent with a developmental defect. By 60 days of age, both the Tg2576 and FRAXAD mice approached a 40% mortality rate compared to 0% for WT and fmr-1 KO littermates. To understand the mechanism underlying increased mortality in APP over-expressing mice, we assessed seizure thresholds in response to pentylenetetrazol (PTZ). Both the Tg2576 and FRAXAD mice had a lower threshold to PTZ-induced seizures (average seizure score of >/=4.0) in comparison to nontransgenic littermates (average seizure score 1.9-2.9). Seizures are a major phenotype of AD, FXS, Down syndrome, autism and epilepsy, and these data suggested that developmental over-expression of dendritic APP or Abeta increased seizure susceptibility.


FRAXAD; Fragile X mental retardation protein; amyloid; amyloid precursor protein; seizure; synapse

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