Aged wild-type and APP, PS1, and APP + PS1 mice present similar deficits in associative learning and synaptic plasticity independent of amyloid load

Neurobiol Dis. 2008 Jun;30(3):439-450. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2008.03.001. Epub 2008 Mar 21.


Wild-type and single-transgenic (APP, PS1) and double-transgenic (APP+PS1) mice were studied at three different (3-, 12-, and 18-month-old) age periods. Transgenic mice had reflex eyelid responses like those of controls, but only 3-month-old mice were able to fully acquire conditioned eyeblinks, using a trace paradigm, whilst 12-month-old wild-type and transgenic mice presented intermediate values, and 18-month-old wild-type and transgenic mice were unable to acquire this type of associative learning. 18-month-old wild-type and transgenic mice presented a normal synaptic activation of CA1 pyramidal cells by the stimulation of Schaffer collaterals, but they did not show any activity-dependent potentiation of the CA3-CA1 synapse across conditioning sessions, as was shown by 3-month-old wild-type mice. Moreover, 18-month-old wild-type and transgenic mice presented a noticeable deficit in long-term potentiation evoked in vivo at the hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapse. The 18-month-old wild-type and transgenic mice also presented a significant deficit in prepulse inhibition as compared with 3-month-old controls. Except for results collected by prepulse inhibition, the above-mentioned deficits were not related with the presence of amyloid beta deposits. Thus, learning and memory deficits observed in aged wild-type and transgenic mice are not directly related to the genetic manipulations or to the presence of amyloid plaques.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Aging / metabolism
  • Aging / pathology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / genetics*
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Association Learning / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / genetics
  • Memory Disorders / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neuronal Plasticity / genetics*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Plaque, Amyloid / genetics*
  • Plaque, Amyloid / metabolism
  • Plaque, Amyloid / pathology
  • Presenilin-1 / biosynthesis
  • Presenilin-1 / genetics*
  • Synapses / genetics
  • Synapses / metabolism
  • Synapses / pathology


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Presenilin-1