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Behavioral characterization of the Tg2576 transgenic model of Alzheimer's disease through 19 months

Physiology & Behavior
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0031-9384(02)00639-x
  • Alzheimer'S Disease
  • Transgenic Mice
  • β-Amyloid
  • Cognitive Performance
  • Sensorimotor Function
  • Medicine


Abstract Behavioral characterization of Alzheimer's disease (AD) transgenic models over multiple time points during aging has been largely inadequate, usually being limited to one or two cognitive-based tasks. In this context, the present study utilized a comprehensive 6-week behavioral battery to characterize sensorimotor and cognitive performance of Tg2576 AD transgenic (Tg +) mice and nontransgenic (Tg −) controls aged 3, 9, 14, and 19 months. Compared collectively to Tg − mice over all four time points, Tg + mice were impaired in Y-maze spontaneous alternation, visible platform recognition, and several sensorimotor tasks; Tg + mice also showed an overall increase in activity measures. The deficits in visible platform became evident by 9 months of age, while those in sensorimotor tasks became clearly manifest by 14 months. Although the behavioral impairments exhibited by Tg + mice were usually progressive through 19 months, Tg − animals also showed similar progressive decline in the same behavioral measures; thus, no task revealed a progressive behavioral decline exclusive to Tg + mice. Moreover, although the 6-week behavioral battery included six cognitively based tasks (i.e., Y-maze, visible platform, Morris water maze, circular platform, passive avoidance, and active avoidance), behavioral analysis through 19 months revealed Tg + mice to be impaired in only the Y-maze and visible platform tasks. Consequently, Tg2576 mice do not exhibit widespread, profound cognitive impairment, even into old age. This may reflect their predominant C57BL/6 background and an apparent inability of the mutant transgene to profoundly alter performance therein.

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