DOI: 10.3390/genes15010047 ISSN: 2073-4425

Behavioral and Neuronal Characterizations, across Ages, of the TgSwDI Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

Natalie A. Tan, Angelica M. Alvarado Carpio, H. Craig Heller, Elsa C. Pittaras
  • Genetics (clinical)
  • Genetics

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that currently affects as many as 50 million people worldwide. It is neurochemically characterized by an aggregation of β-amyloid plaques and tau neurofibrillary tangles that result in neuronal dysfunction, cognitive decline, and a progressive loss of brain function. TgSwDI is a well-studied transgenic mouse model of AD, but no longitudinal studies have been performed to characterize cognitive deficits or β-amyloid plaque accumulation for use as a baseline reference in future research. Thus, we use behavioral tests (T-Maze, Novel Object Recognition (NOR), Novel Object Location (NOL)) to study long-term and working memory, and immunostaining to study β-amyloid plaque deposits, as well as brain size, in hippocampal, cerebellum, and cortical slices in TgSwDI and wild-type (WT) mice at 3, 5, 8, and 12 months old. The behavioral results show that TgSwDI mice exhibit deficits in their long-term spatial memory starting at 8 months old and in long-term recognition memory at all ages, but no deficits in their working memory. Immunohistochemistry showed an exponential increase in β-amyloid plaque in the hippocampus and cortex of TgSwDI mice over time, whereas there was no significant accumulation of plaque in WT mice at any age. Staining showed a smaller hippocampus and cerebellum starting at 8 months old for the TgSwDI compared to WT mice. Our data show how TgSwDI mice differ from WT mice in their baseline levels of cognitive function and β-amyloid plaque load throughout their lives.

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