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Publication Detail
Improving Mouse Models for Dementia. Are All the Effects in Tau Mouse Models Due to Overexpression?
Abstract
Mouse models of Alzheimer's disease have commonly used transgenic overexpression of genes involved in production of amyloid β (APP and/or PSEN1/2) or Tau (MAPT) with mutations that result in familial forms of dementia. We discuss possible improvements that may create full models while avoiding the problems of overexpression and report synaptic results in APPKI models. We stress use of inappropriate controls without overexpression of the normal human protein and the mismatch between the learning deficits reported in mice with plaques but no tangles and the human condition. We focus on Tau overexpression, including new data that support previous reports of the grossly nonlinear relationship between Tau overexpression and neurofibrillary tangle load, with a twofold increase in Tau protein, resulting in a 100-fold increase in tangle density. These data also support the hypothesis that a high concentration of soluble Tau, in overexpression models, plays an important direct role in neurodegeneration, rather than only via aggregation. Finally, we hypothesize that there is an optimal concentration range over which Tau can bind to microtubules and a threshold beyond which much of the overexpressed protein is unable to bind. The excess thus causes toxicity in ways not necessarily related to the process in human dementias.
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Neuro, Physiology & Pharmacology
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Neuro, Physiology & Pharmacology
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Neurodegenerative Diseases
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