Filamentous tau in oligodendrocytes and astrocytes of transgenic mice expressing the human tau isoform with the P301L mutation

Am J Pathol. 2003 Jan;162(1):213-8. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)63812-6.


We recently reported a transgenic mouse line (JNPL3) that expresses mutant (P301L) tau and develops neurofibrillary tangles composed of filamentous tau aggregates. Here we show that these mice have abnormal tau filaments not only in neurons, but also in oligodendrocytes and astrocytes. Similar results were detected in another transgenic line (JNPL2+3+) that expresses the longest human tau isoform with the P301L mutation. The ultrastructure of the tau filaments and immunoreactivity with tau and ubiquitin antibodies were similar in glia and neurons. Given similarities of the lesions in the mice to human neuronal and glial inclusions, these transgenic mice appear to be a valuable model to study pathogenesis of the neurodegenerative tauopathies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Astrocytes / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Inclusion Bodies / metabolism
  • Inclusion Bodies / ultrastructure*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Mutation
  • Oligodendroglia / metabolism*
  • Oligodendroglia / pathology
  • PrPC Proteins / genetics
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Isoforms / biosynthesis
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Tauopathies / metabolism*
  • Tauopathies / pathology
  • tau Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • tau Proteins / genetics


  • PrPC Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • tau Proteins