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Lack of exon 10 in the murine tau gene results in mild sensorimotor defects with aging
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Geriatrics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Geriatrics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Geriatrics.
2013 (English)In: BMC neuroscience (Online), ISSN 1471-2202, Vol. 14, 148- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Complex species-specific, developmental-and tissue-dependent mechanisms regulate alternative splicing of tau, thereby diversifying tau protein synthesis. The functional role of alternative splicing of tau e. g. exon 10 has never been examined in vivo, although genetic studies suggest that it is important to neurodegenerative disease. Results: Gene-targeting was used to delete exon 10 in murine tau on both alleles (E10-/-) to study its functional role. Moreover, mice devoid of exon 10 (E10+/-) on one allele were generated to investigate the effects of 1: 1 balanced expression of 4R-/3R-tau protein, since equal amounts of 4R-/3R-tau protein are synthesized in human brain. Middle-aged E10-/-mice displayed sensorimotor disturbances in the rotarod when compared to age-matched E10+/- and wild-type mice, and their muscular grip strength was less than that of E10+/-mice. The performance of E10+/-mice and wild-type mice (E10+/+) was similar in sensorimotor tests. Cognitive abilities or anxiety-like behaviours did not depend on exon 10 in tau, and neither pathological inclusions nor gene-dependent morphological abnormalities were found. Conclusion: Ablation of exon 10 in the murine tau gene alters alternative splicing and tau protein synthesis which results in mild sensorimotor phenotypes with aging. Presumably related microtubule-stabilizing genes rescue other functions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 14, 148- p.
Keyword [en]
Alzheimer's disease, Tau, Knockout mice, Alternative splicing, Microtubule
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-217677DOI: 10.1186/1471-2202-14-148ISI: 000329428100001OAI: diva2:693644
Available from: 2014-02-04 Created: 2014-02-04 Last updated: 2014-06-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Therapeutic and functional studies in animal models of Alzheimer's disease
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Therapeutic and functional studies in animal models of Alzheimer's disease
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Senile plaques (Aβ) and neurofibrillary tangles (tau) are pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). If and how the formation of these deposits are mechanistically linked remains mainly unknown. In recent years, the focus has shifted from insoluble protein deposits to soluble aggregates of Aβ and tau. Protofibrils are large soluble Aβ oligomers which were linked to AD by the discovery of the Arctic AβPP mutation.

Treatment of young tg-ArcSwe mice with an Aβ protofibril-selective antibody, mAb158, cleared protofibrils, prevented amyloid plaque deposition and protected cultured cells from protofibril-mediated toxicity. This suggests that Aβ protofibrils are necessary for the formation of Aβ deposits. Functional assessment of tg-ArcSwe mice in IntelliCage demonstrated hippocampal-dependent behavioral deficits such as memory/learning impairments, hyperactivity and perseverance behavior. Learning impairments did not correlate to Aβ-measures but to calbindin, which might be a good marker for Aβ-mediated neuronal dysfunction.

Splicing of exon 10 in the tau gene differs between human and mouse brain. Exon 10 is part of the microtubule-binding domains which helps to maintain microtubule stability and axonal transport, functions vital to neuronal viability. Axonal transport dysfunction has been proposed as a common pathway of Aβ and tau pathogenesis in AD. Generation of a novel tau mouse model with absence of exon 10 led to age-dependent sensorimotor impairments which may relate to dysfunctions in cerebellum. No tau pathology was evident suggesting that a trigger of tau fibrillization e.g. a human Aβ or tau aggregate is needed. Generation of AβPPxE10 bitransgenic mice with no exon 10 showed lower Aβ plaque burden. Possibly changes in microtubule function lead to altered intracellular AβPP transport and Aβ production. Initiation of tau pathology in AβPPxE10 mice might require a certain type of Aβ-aggregates which is not produced or exist at too low concentration in transgenic mouse brain.

In summary, the Aβ protofibril-selective antibody was found to be a promising treatment for AD. The IntelliCage system was proven to be useful for functional evaluation of AβPP mice. Exon 10 in tau was shown to affect sensorimotor functions and Aβ pathology in bitransgenic mice by mechanisms that deserve further investigation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 73 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1003
Alzheimer's disease, Amyloid-beta, Immunotherapy, IntelliCage, Microtubule, Tau, Alternative splicing
National Category
Neurosciences Microbiology in the medical area
Research subject
Neuroscience; Medical Cell Biology; Medical Biochemistry
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-223135 (URN)978-91-554-8961-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-12, Rudbecksalen, Rudbecklaboratoriet, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 20, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Available from: 2014-05-22 Created: 2014-04-16 Last updated: 2014-09-18Bibliographically approved

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