UF Neuroscience Students Lead Creation of New Mouse Model for Alzheimer’s Research (UF Health)

UF Neuroscience Students Lead Creation of New Mouse Model for Alzheimer’s Research

A research team led by University of Florida neuroscience graduate students has devised a new mouse model to study the protein tau, which can abnormally accumulate inside neurons and is associated with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

The new rodent model, which was engineered with a goal of gaining understanding into the interplay between peripheral and central nervous system tau pathology, is the first of its kind to result in the demise of gut neurons, the researchers reported. “As a model used for rapid drug screening, it will be advantageous to test the effects of lead compounds on the effects of pathogenic tau in both the gut and brain,” they wrote.

The new model expresses low levels of pathogenic human tau and is engineered to develop predictable progression of tau pathology with similarities to authentic tau brain changes, the authors said. The researchers dubbed the model “SPAM,” derived from the first letters of “S320F” and “P301S” (tau mutations), “aggregating” and “mutations.”

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