To understand the in vivo function of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) we generated an APP null mutation in mice by homologous recombination in embryonic stem (ES) cells. We show here that homozygous APP deficient mice were produced at expected frequencies. Neither APP mRNA nor protein could be detected in these animals. Yet the homozygous APP mutant mice are fertile and do not show overt abnormalities at up to 12 weeks of age. Neuroanatomical studies of the brain did not reveal significant differences in the knockout mice as compared to the wild-type controls. These results argue against an essential function of APP in mouse embryonic and early neuronal development.