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EMBO J. 1995 Apr 3;14(7):1304-13.

Somatodendritic localization and hyperphosphorylation of tau protein in transgenic mice expressing the longest human brain tau isoform.

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Preclinical Research, Sandoz Pharma Ltd, Basel, Switzerland.


Microtubule-associated protein tau is the major constituent of the paired helical filament, the main fibrous component of the neurofibrillary lesions of Alzheimer's disease. Tau is an axonal phosphoprotein in normal adult brain. In Alzheimer's disease brain tau is hyperphosphorylated and is found not only in axons, but also in cell bodies and dendrites of affected nerve cells. We report the production and analysis of transgenic mice that express the longest human brain tau isoform under the control of the human Thy-1 promoter. As in Alzheimer's disease, transgenic human tau protein was present in nerve cell bodies, axons and dendrites; moreover, it was phosphorylated at sites that are hyperphosphorylated in paired helical filaments. We conclude that transgenic human tau protein showed pre-tangle changes similar to those that precede the full neurofibrillary pathology in Alzheimer's disease.

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