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Katherine J. Kopeikina, Manuela Polydoro, Hwan-Ching Tai, Erich Yaeger, George A. Carlson, Rose Pitstick, Bradley T. Hyman and Tara L. Spires-Jones Synaptic alterations in the rTg4510 mouse model of tauopathy Journal of Comparative Neurology 521

Article first published online: 20 FEB 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/cne.23234

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In Alzheimer Disease (AD), the role of tau in synapse loss remains largely undetermined. Here we test the hypothesis that human mutant tau over-expression in a mouse model will lead to age-dependent synaptic loss and dysfunction. Array tomography and two methods of quantification demonstrate preservation of overall synapse density in the neuropil, while multi-photon in vivo imaging shows close to 30% loss of apical dendritic spines. Biochemical analyses of remaining synapses suggest loss of synaptic components likely indicating concomitant dysfunction.

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