, Volume 28, Issue 7, pp 1029-1034

Learning and Memory Deficits in APP Transgenic Mouse Models of Amyloid Deposition

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Several different transgenic APP mice develop learning and memory deficits. In some cases the mice have deficits very early in life, while in other instances the mice exhibit deficits only after they have aged and amyloid deposits have accumulated. In many cases, there is a correlation in individual mice of the same age and genotype between the extent of learning and memory deficits and the amounts of deposited amyloid found in the central nervous system. While superficially this might imply that the deposited material is somehow toxic to cognition, it is likely that deposited amyloid is also an index of the overall rate of amyloid production in each mouse. Rate of production would be expected to modify not only the amounts of deposited amyloid, but also other amyloid pools, including soluble, oligomeric, conjugated (e.g. ADDLs) and intracellular. Thus, the deposited material may be an integrated reflection of total Aß production, in addition to indicating the amounts in fibrillar forms. As such, it is conceivable that other Aß pools may be more directly linked to memory deficits. Thus far, the one manipulation found to mitigate the learning and memory deficits in APP transgenic mice is immunotherapy for Aß, either using active or passive immunization against the peptide. These data together with other findings are leading to a conclusion that the fibrillar Aß deposits are not directly linked to the memory deficits in mice, and that some other Aß pool, more readily diminished by immunotherapy, is more directly linked to the mechanisms leading to poor performance in learning and memory tasks.