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FASEB J. 2012 Jul;26(7):2899-910. doi: 10.1096/fj.12-205542. Epub 2012 Mar 29.

The Psen1-L166P-knock-in mutation leads to amyloid deposition in human wild-type amyloid precursor protein YAC transgenic mice.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA.


Genetically engineered mice have been generated to model cerebral β-amyloidosis, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer disease (AD) pathology, based on the overexpression of a mutated cDNA of the amyloid-β precursor protein (AβPP) or by knock-in of the murine Aβpp gene alone or with presenilin1 mutations. Here we describe the generation and initial characterization of a new mouse line based on the presence of 2 copies of the human genomic region encoding the wild-type AβPP and the L166P presenilin 1 mutation. At ∼6 mo of age, double-mutant mice develop amyloid pathology, with signs of neuritic dystrophy, intracellular Aβ accumulation, and glial inflammation, an increase in AβPP C-terminal fragments, and an 8 times increase in Aβ42 levels with a 40% decrease in Aβ40 levels, leading to a significant increase (14 times) of Aβ42/Aβ40 ratios, with minimal effects on presenilin or the Notch1 pathway in the brain. We conclude that in mice, neither mutations in AβPP nor overexpression of an AβPP isoform are a prerequisite for Aβ pathology. This model will allow the study of AD pathogenesis and testing of therapeutic strategies in a more relevant environment without experimental artifacts due to the overexpression of a single-mutant AβPP isoform using exogenous promoters.

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