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Title: Dendritic spine abnormalities in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons underlying memory deficits in the SAMP8 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease
Author: Del Valle, J.
Bayod, S.
Camins, A.
Beas-Zárate, Carlos
Velazquez-Zamora, D.A.
Gonzalez-Burgos, I.
Pallas, M.
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: SAMP8 is a strain of mice with accelerated senescence. These mice have recently been the focus of attention as they show several alterations that have also been described in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. The number of dendritic spines, spine plasticity, and morphology are basic to memory formation. In AD, the density of dendritic spines is severely decreased. We studied memory alterations using the object recognition test. We measured levels of synaptophysin as a marker of neurotransmission and used Golgi staining to quantify and characterize the number and morphology of dendritic spines in SAMP8 mice and in SAMR1 as control animals. While there were no memory differences at 3 months of age, the memory of both 6- and 9-month-old SAMP8 mice was impaired in comparison with age-matched SAMR1 mice or young SAMP8 mice. In addition, synaptophysin levels were not altered in young SAMP8 animals, but SAMP8 aged 6 and 9 months had less synaptophysin than SAMR1 controls and also less than 3-month-old SAMP8 mice. Moreover, while spine density remained stable with age in SAMR1 mice, the number of spines started to decrease in SAMP8 animals at 6 months, only to get worse at 9 months. Our results show that from 6 months onwards SAMP8 mice show impaired memory. This age coincides with that at which the levels of synaptophysin and spine density decrease. Thus, we conclude that together with other studies that describe several alterations at similar ages, SAMP8 mice are a very suitable model for studying AD. © 2012 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.
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