Accelerated extinction of conditioned taste aversion in P301L tau transgenic mice

Luis Pennanen, Hans Welzl, Patrizia D'Adamo, Roger M. Nitsch, Jürgen Götz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neurofibrillary tangles, insoluble protein deposits composed of filamentous tau aggregates, are neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease and familial frontotemporal dementia (FTDP-17). Transgenic mice expressing the FTDP-17 mutation P301L of tau recapitulate key features of the human pathology, that is, tau proteins aggregate and neurofibrillary tangles begin to appear in the amygdala at 6 months of age. To detect early signs of tau aggregate-associated changes, we investigated behavioral alterations and cognitive deficits in such mice using an amygdala-specific test battery for anxiety-related and cognitive behavior. P301L mice had anxiety levels not different from wild-types, but their exploratory behavior was significantly increased. Acquisition of a fear response to tone and context as well as taste aversion was comparable to wild-types. However, extinction of a conditioned taste aversion was significantly accelerated. We conclude that already aggregation of tau proteins not yet accompanied by massive formation of neurofibrillary tangles causes selective behavioral deficits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-509
Number of pages10
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amygdala
  • Conditioned taste aversion
  • Extinction
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Neurofibrillary tangles
  • Tau
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology


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