Differential Effects of Human P301L Tau Expression in Young versus Aged Mice

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Oct 28;22(21):11637. doi: 10.3390/ijms222111637.


The greatest risk factor for developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) is increasing age. Understanding the changes that occur in aging that make an aged brain more susceptible to developing AD could result in novel therapeutic targets. In order to better understand these changes, the current study utilized mice harboring a regulatable mutant P301L human tau transgene (rTg(TauP301L)4510), in which P301L tau expression can be turned off or on by the addition or removal of doxycycline in the drinking water. This regulatable expression allowed for assessment of aging independent of prolonged mutant tau expression. Our results suggest that P301L expression in aged mice enhances memory deficits in the Morris water maze task. These behavioral changes may be due to enhanced late-stage tau pathology, as evidenced by immunoblotting and exacerbated hippocampal dysregulation of glutamate release and uptake measured by the microelectrode array technique. We additionally observed changes in proteins important for the regulation of glutamate and tau phosphorylation that may mediate these age-related changes. Thus, age and P301L tau interact to exacerbate tau-induced detrimental alterations in aged animals.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; P301L tau; aging; glutamate.

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Gene Expression*
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maze Learning
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mutation
  • tau Proteins / genetics*
  • tau Proteins / metabolism


  • MAPT protein, human
  • tau Proteins
  • Glutamic Acid