Transgenic mice overexpressing the neurotrophic factor S-100β show neuronal cytoskeletal and behavioral signs of altered aging processes: Implications for Alzheimer's disease and Down's syndrome

Patricia M. Whitaker-Azmitia, Michael Wingate, Alice Borella, Robert Gerlai, John Roder, Efrain C. Azmitia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

S-100β is a neurotrophic factor released by astroglial cells and localized to chromosome 21, within the region which is considered obligate for Down's syndrome (DS). S-100β is increased in the postmortem brains of both DS and Alzheimer's disease. Transgenic mice, produced by insertion of the human gene for S-100β, were examined for dendritic development at two ages, using an antibody against microtubule associated protein-2 (MAP-2). At the earliest stages, the density of dendrites within the hippocampus of transgenic animals exceeded that of controls. Also, MAP-2 immunostaining was evident in the region of the cell body. By 1 year of age, the transgenic animals had significant loss of dendrites compared to controls and the number of cells showing cell body staining was further increased. These pathological changes could be indicative of the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and cytoskeletal collapse. Behaviorally, younger transgenic animals could not perform in a learning task as well as controls. Together, these findings suggest that increased S-100β in brain may lead to accelerated development, followed by increased aging. The pathological changes may prove useful as an animal model of Down's syndrome and Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Volume776
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 21 1997

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dendrite
  • Down's syndrome
  • Hippocampus
  • MAP-2
  • Neurofibrillary tangle
  • Neuronal cytoskeleton
  • S-100β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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