Genomic background-related activation of microglia and reduced β-amyloidosis in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp). 2013 Mar 1;3(1):21-27. doi: 10.1556/EuJMI.3.2013.1.3.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is by far the most common neurodegenerative disease. AD is histologically characterized not only by extracellular senile plaques and vascular deposits consisting of β-amyloid (Aβ) but also by accompanying neuroinflammatory processes involving the brain's microglia. The importance of the microglia is still in controversial discussion, which currently favors a protective function in disease progression. Recent findings by different research groups highlighted the importance of strain-specific and mitochondria-specific genomic variations in mouse models of cerebral β-amyloidosis. Here, we want to summarize our previously presented data and add new results that draw attention towards the consideration of strain-specific genomic alterations in the setting of APP transgenes. We present data from APP-transgenic mice in commonly used C57Bl/6J and FVB/N genomic backgrounds and show a direct influence on the kinetics of Aβ deposition and the activity of resident microglia. Plaque size, plaque deposition rate and the total amount of Aβ are highest in C57Bl/6J mice as compared to the FVB/N genomic background, which can be explained at least partially by a reduced microglia activity towards amyloid deposits in the C57BL/6J strain.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; genomic background; microglia; mouse models; neurodegeneration; neuroinflammation.