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Brain Res. 1998 Jan 12;780(2):294-303.

Chronic neuroinflammation in rats reproduces components of the neurobiology of Alzheimer's disease.

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Arizona Research Laboratories, University of Arizona, Tucson 85724, USA.


Inflammatory processes may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of the degenerative changes and cognitive impairments associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the present study, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria was used to produce chronic, global inflammation within the brain of young rats. Chronic infusion of LPS (0.25 microgram/h) into the 4th ventricle for four weeks produced (1) an increase in the number of glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive activated astrocytes and OX-6-positive reactive microglia distributed throughout the brain, with the greatest increase occurring within the temporal lobe, particularly the hippocampus, (2) an induction in interleukin-1 beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and beta-amyloid precursor protein mRNA levels within the basal forebrain region and hippocampus, (3) the degeneration of hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurons, and (4) a significant impairment in spatial memory as determined by decreased spontaneous alternation behavior on a T-maze.

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