Aspects of spatial memory and behavioral disinhibition in Tg2576 transgenic mice as a model of Alzheimer's disease

Elisa Ognibene, Silvia Middei, Stefania Daniele, Walter Adriani, Orlando Ghirardi, Antonio Caprioli, Giovanni Laviola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been recently advanced. Tg2576 mice have been shown to develop progressive β-amyloid (Aβ) neuritic plaques and exhibit impairment of cognitive function. The aim of this study was a better characterization of different aspects of spatial memory performance of transgenic mice, observed at a time when levels of soluble Aβ are elevated and Aβ neuritc plaques start to appear. A general elevation of basal locomotory activity in the home cage was found in Tg2576 mice, which also exhibited an impairment of spontaneous alternation in the Y-maze test. Tg2576 mice were not flexible upon changes in the schedule and failed to codify spatially the testing environment. Consistently, a deficit of spatial memory was also observed when mice were assessed for levels of reactivity to spatial change in the modified open-field test with objects. Compared to controls, Tg2576 mice also exhibited an increased number of explorative approaches to the different objects, and failed to discriminate the displacement of the object. Consistently with the hypothesis of increased disinhibition, a differential behavioural response to the plus-maze paradigm was exhibited by Tg2576 mice. Results clearly indicate that Tg2576 mice are characterized by a number of specific behavioral cognitive alterations, compatible with Alzheimer's disease (AD), which make them a suitable animal model for testing of novel anti-AD drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 30 2005


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cognitive deficit
  • Locomotor activity
  • Mouse models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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