Region-specific changes in the microanatomy of single dendritic spines over time might account for selective memory alterations in ageing hAPPsweTg2576 mice, a mouse model for Alzheimer disease

S. Middei, L. Restivo, A. Caprioli, M. Aceti, M. Ammassari-Teule

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Tg2576 mice over-expressing human mutant APP (hAPPswe) show progressive impairments in hippocampal plasticity and episodic memory while fronto-striatal plasticity and procedural memory remain intact. Here we examine the status of synaptic connectivity in the hippocampus and the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) of 3- and 15-month-old Tg2576 and wild-type mice through the analysis of single dendritic spines microanatomy. We found that, in each region, all mice showed a global reduction in the size of spines as a function of age. Ageing mutants, however, exhibited smaller spines with shorter necks on CA1 pyramidal neurons but larger spines with longer necks on DLS spiny neurons compared to their age-matched wild-type controls. Our findings indicate that hippocampal and DLS dendritic spines in hAPPswe mutants undergo a different pattern of morphological changes over time and point to minor alterations in the microanatomy of DLS spines as a compensatory mechanism maintaining procedural abilities in the ageing mutants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-471
Number of pages5
JournalNeurobiology of Learning and Memory
Volume90
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008

Keywords

  • Alzheimer disease (AD)
  • Dorsolateral striatum (DLS)
  • Hippocampus
  • Spine geometry
  • Synaptic efficacy
  • Tg2576 mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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