The current study examined behavioral and histological effects of amyloid-ß (Aß) protein precursor (AßPP) overexpression in transgenic (Tg) rats created using the same gene, mutation, and promoter as the Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Male Tg+ rats were bred with female wild-type rats to generate litters of hemizygous Tg+ and Tg- offspring. Tg+ rats and Tg- littermates were tested for memory deficits at 4, 8, and 12 months old using a water-maze procedure. There were no significant behavioral differences between Tg+ rats and Tg- littermates at 4 months old but there were significant differences at 8 and 12 months old, and in probe trials at 8 and 12 months old, the Tg+ rats spent significantly less time and covered less distance in the platform zone. Under acquisition of a fixed-consecutive number schedule at 3 months old, Tg- littermates demonstrated a longer latency to learning the response rule than Tg+ rats; while this might seem paradoxical, it is consistent with the role of overexpression of AßPP in learning. Histological analyses revealed activated astrocytes in brains of Tg+ rats but not Tg- littermates at 6 months old, and thioflavin-S positive staining in the hippocampus and cortex of 17-month old Tg+ rats but not Tg- littermates. Quantification of Aß load in the brain at 22 months indicated high levels of Aß38, Aß40, and Aß42 in the Tg+ rats. These data suggest this model might provide a valuable resource for AD research.
O'Hare, E., Ardis, T., Page, D., Scopes, D. I. C., & Kim, E-M. (2013). AßPP over-expressing transgenic rat model of Alzheimer's disease utilizing the Tg2576 mouse protocol. Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD, 37(1), 77-88. https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-130212