We recently identified a cDNA encoding a human brain specific trypsinogen (trypsinogen IV). In order to test whether trypsinogen IV is involved in CNS diseases of, or injury response in, mammalian brain, a mouse model was developed in which the human trypsinogen IV was expressed specifically in neurons. Immunocytochemical analysis of the brains of transgenic mice revealed a striking enhancement of glial fibrillar acidic protein (GFAP) expression in astrocytes. This remarkable astrocytic reaction was detected in the brains of mice as young as 2 months and did not diminish in the older animals we tested. However, we did not find gross evidence for neurodegeneration, nor for reactive microglial cells. The long-term survival of these animals should provide a model with which to study the mechanism of nerve-astroglia interactions. In addition, the possible participation of trypsin IV in the metabolism of the Alzheimer precursor protein (APP) was investigated by immunostaining brains from transgenic mice with beta-amyloid (betaA4) antibodies. Immunocytochemical staining of brains from one year old transgenic mice revealed an intense intracellular betaA4-like signal in neurons.