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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Jun 6;92(12):5341-5.

Age-related learning deficits in transgenic mice expressing the 751-amino acid isoform of human beta-amyloid precursor protein.

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Marion Merrell Dow Research Institute, Strasbourg, France.


The beta-amyloid precursor protein (beta-APP), from which the beta-A4 peptide is derived, is considered to be central to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD). Transgenic mice expressing the 751-amino acid isoform of human beta-APP (beta-APP751) have been shown to develop early AD-like histopathology with diffuse deposits of beta-A4 and aberrant tau protein expression in the brain, particularly in the hippocampus, cortex, and amygdala. We now report that beta-APP751 transgenic mice exhibit age-dependent deficits in spatial learning in a water-maze task and in spontaneous alternation in a Y maze. These deficits were mild or absent in 6-month-old transgenic mice but were severe in 12-month-old transgenic mice compared to age-matched wild-type control mice. No other behavioral abnormalities were observed. These mice therefore model the progressive learning and memory impairment that is a cardinal feature of AD. These results provide evidence for a relationship between abnormal expression of beta-APP and cognitive impairments.

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