Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 119, Issue 2, pp 173–195 | Cite as

Recent rodent models for Alzheimer’s disease: clinical implications and basic research

  • Nady Braidy
  • Pablo Muñoz
  • Adrian G. Palacios
  • Gloria Castellano-Gonzalez
  • Nibaldo C. Inestrosa
  • Roger S. Chung
  • Perminder Sachdev
  • Gilles J. Guillemin
Dementias - Review article


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common origin of dementia in the elderly. Although the cause of AD remains unknown, several factors have been identified that appear to play a critical role in the development of this debilitating disorder. In particular, amyloid precursor protein (APP), tau hyperphosphorylation, and the secretase enzymes, have become the focal point of recent research. Over the last two decades, several transgenic and non-transgenic animal models have been developed to elucidate the mechanistic aspects of AD and to validate potential therapeutic targets. Transgenic rodent models over-expressing human β-amyloid precursor protein (β-APP) and mutant forms of tau have become precious tools to study and understand the pathogenesis of AD at the molecular, cellular and behavioural levels, and to test new therapeutic agents. Nevertheless, none of the transgenic models of AD recapitulate fully all of the pathological features of the disease. Octodon degu, a South American rodent has been recently found to spontaneously develop neuropathological signs of AD in old age. This review aims to address the limitations and clinical relevance of transgenic rodent models in AD, and to highlight the potential for O. degu as a natural model for the study of AD neuropathology.


Alzheimer’s disease Animal models Octodon degu Amyloid-β Tau phosphorylation Transgenic models 



We thank the Alzheimer’s Association (USA), the University of New South Wales, the Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Foundation, the Perpetual Foundation, the Baxter Foundation, the Mason Foundation, the Curran Foundation, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Alzheimer Australia for supporting our work. A.G.P.’s and P.M.’s research was partially support by a FIRCA NIH grant to Alfredo Kirkwood 1 R03 TW007171-01 A1 and Iniciativa Cientifica Milenio CINV IC09-022-P.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nady Braidy
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pablo Muñoz
    • 3
  • Adrian G. Palacios
    • 3
  • Gloria Castellano-Gonzalez
    • 4
  • Nibaldo C. Inestrosa
    • 5
  • Roger S. Chung
    • 6
  • Perminder Sachdev
    • 2
    • 7
  • Gilles J. Guillemin
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of PsychiatryUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Centro Interdiciplinario de Neurociencia de Valparaiso (CINV), Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de ValparaisoValparaisoChile
  4. 4.St Vincent’s Centre for Applied Medical ResearchSydneyAustralia
  5. 5.Centre for Aging and Regeneration (CARE), Faculty of Biological SciencesP. Catholic University of ChileSantiagoChile
  6. 6.Menzies Research InstituteUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  7. 7.Neuropsychiatric Institute, Prince of Wales HospitalSydneyAustralia

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