Pathogenic tau species drive a psychosis-like phenotype in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

Research paper by J J Koppel, H H Jimenez, M M Azose, C C D'Abramo, C C Acker, J J Buthorn, B S BS Greenwald, J J Lewis, M M Lesser, Z Z Liu, P P Davies

Indexed on: 26 Aug '14Published on: 26 Aug '14Published in: Behavioural Brain Research


Psychotic Alzheimer's disease (AD+P) is a rapidly progressive variant of AD associated with an increased burden of frontal tau pathology that affects up to 50% of those with AD, and is observed more commonly in females. To date, there are no safe and effective medication interventions with an indication for treatment in this condition, and there has been only very limited exploration of potential animal models for pre-clinical drug development. Pathogenic tau is over represented in the frontal cortex in AD+P, especially in females. In order to develop a candidate animal model of AD+P, we employed a tau mouse model with a heavy burden of frontal tau pathology, the rTg(tauP301L)4510 mouse, hereafter termed rTg4510. We explored deficits of prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle (PPI), a model of psychosis in rodents, and the correlation between pathogenic phospho-tau species associated with AD+P and PPI deficits in female mice. We found that female rTg4510 mice exhibit increasing PPI deficits relative to littermate controls from 4.5 to 5.5 months of age, and that these deficits are driven by insoluble fractions of the phospho-tau species pSer396/404, pSer202, and pThr231 found to be associated with human AD+P. This preliminary data suggests the utility of the rTg4510 mouse as a candidate disease model of human female AD+P. Further work expanded to include both genders and other behavioral outcome measures relevant to AD+P is necessary.