Author(s): Flood JF, Morley JE
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Abstract The SAMP8 (P8) mouse strain develops deficits in learning and memory relatively early in its lifespan. This review provides an overview of the age-related changes that occur in P8 mice. Behavioral studies with P8 mice show impaired acquisition and retention as early as 4 months of age. Deficits in acquisition and retention occur with both aversive and appetitive training tasks. Anatomical studies have detected a number of age-related changes that occur in the central nervous system of P8 mice. The age-related increase in amyloid beta protein is well correlated with the age-related decline in learning and memory. Antibody to amyloid beta protein injected prior to training alleviated impaired acquisition and retention, whereas post-training injections alleviated retention deficits in older P8 mice. Biochemical studies have detected numerous age-related changes with reduced NMDA receptor activity most closely related to impaired learning and memory in P8 mice. Pharmacological studies have found age-related functional changes in the ability of drugs to improve memory processing in P8 mice in the septum and the hippocampus. The specific pattern of pharmacological changes and the inferred change in neurotransmitter activity suggest that age-related impairment in memory processing may be due to impaired septohippocampal interactions. The proposal that P8 mice may be a useful model for studying the early phases of age-related dementia of the Alzheimer type, while still requiring considerable study, seems reasonable.
This article was published in Neurosci Biobehav Rev
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research