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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2015 Apr;122(4):577-92. doi: 10.1007/s00702-015-1394-4. Epub 2015 Mar 26.

Staging of cognitive deficits and neuropathological and ultrastructural changes in streptozotocin-induced rat model of Alzheimer's disease.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology and Croatian Institute for Brain Research, University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Salata 11, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia.

Abstract

Sporadic Alzheimer's disease (sAD) is the most common form of dementia. Rats injected intracerebroventricularly with streptozotocin (STZ-icv) develop insulin-resistant brain state and represent a non-transgenic sAD model with a number of AD-like cognitive and neurochemical features. We explored cognitive, structural and ultrastructural changes in the brain of the STZ-icv rat model over a course of 9 months. Cognitive functions were measured in the STZ-icv- (0.3, 1 and 3 mg/kg) and age-matched control rats by passive avoidance test. Structural changes were assessed by Nissl and Bielschowsky silver staining. Immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy analysis were used to detect amyloid β- (Aβ(1-42)) and hyperphosphorylated tau (AT8) accumulation and ultrastructural changes in the brain. Memory decline was time- (≤3 months/acute, ≥3 months/progressive) and STZ-icv dose-dependent. Morphological changes were manifested as thinning of parietal cortex (≥1 month) and corpus callosum (9 months), and were more pronounced in the 3 mg/kg STZ group. Early neurofibrillary changes (AT8) were detected from 1 month onward in the neocortex, and progressed after 3 months to the hippocampus. Intracellular Aβ(1-42) accumulation was found in the neocortex at 3 months following STZ-icv treatment, while diffuse Aβ(1-42)-positive plaque-like formations were found after 6 months in the neocortex and hippocampus. Ultrastructural changes revealed enlargement of Golgi apparatus, pyknotic nuclei, and time-dependent increase in lysosome size, number, and density. Our data provide a staging of cognitive, structural/ultrastructural, and neuropathological markers in the STZ-icv rat model that in many aspects seems to be generally comparable to stages seen in human sAD.

PMID:
25808906
DOI:
10.1007/s00702-015-1394-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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