Journal of Neurocytology

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 377–387 | Cite as

Dendrite and dendritic spine alterations in alzheimer models

  • Donna L. Moolman
  • Ottavio V. Vitolo
  • Jean-Paul G. Vonsattel
  • Michael L. Shelanski


Synaptic damage and loss are factors that affect the degree of dementia experienced in Alzheimer disease (AD) patients. Multicolor DiOlistic labeling of the hippocampus has been undertaken which allows the full dendritic arbor of targeted neurons to be imaged. Using this labeling technique the neuronal morphology of two transgenic mouse lines (J20 and APP/PS1) expressing mutant forms of the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP), at various ages, have been visualized and compared to Wild Type (WT) littermate controls. Swollen bulbous dystrophic neurites with loss of spines were apparent in the transgenic animals. Upon quantification, statistically significant reductions in the number of spines and total dendrite area was observed in both transgenic mouse lines at 11 months of age. Similar morphological abnormalities were seen in human AD hippocampal tissue both qualitatively and quantitatively. Immunohistochemistry and DiOlistic labeling was combined so that Aβ plaques were imaged in relation to the dendritic trees. No preferential localization of these abnormal dystrophic neurites was seen in regions with plaques. DiI labeled reative astrocytes were often apparent in close proximity to Aβ plaques.


Alzheimer Disease Amyloid Precursor Protein Dendritic Spine Dendritic Tree Dendritic Arbor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donna L. Moolman
    • 1
  • Ottavio V. Vitolo
    • 1
  • Jean-Paul G. Vonsattel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael L. Shelanski
    • 1
  1. 1.Columbia UniversityTaub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain and Department of PathologyNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Columbia UniversityNew York Brain Bank, AD Research Center, Taub InstituteNew YorkUSA

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