, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 197-201
Date: 01 Jun 2011

Pathway-specific alteration of synaptic plasticity in Tg2576 mice

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Various animal models of Alzheimer disease (AD) are characterized by deficits in spatial memory that are causally related to altered synaptic function and impairment of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus. In Tg2576 AD mice, we compared LTP in 2 major hippocampal pathways, Schaffer collateral (SC) and mossy fiber (MF) pathways. Whereas LTP was completely abolished in the SC pathway of Tg2576 mice, we found no decrease in LTP induced by stimulation of the MF pathway. In fact, we found that in the MF pathway, LTP was slightly, but significantly, enhanced compared with that in the MF pathway of WT littermates. This pathway-specific impairment of LTP is not attributable to alterations in transmitter release, as indicated by an unaltered paired-pulse ratio. These results suggest that the spatial memory deficits normally seen in AD models arise primarily from LTP impairment at the SC pathway.