Expression of P301L-hTau in mouse MEC induces hippocampus-dependent memory deficit

Xinghua Liu, Kuan Zeng, Mengzhu Li, Qun Wang, Rong Liu, Bin Zhang, Jian Zhi Wang, Xiji Shu, Xiaochuan Wang

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7 Scopus citations


Intracellular accumulation of abnormally phosphorylated tau in different types of neurons is a pathological characteristic of Alzheimer's disease (AD). While tau modification and associated neuronal loss and hypometabolism start in the entorhinal cortex (EC) in early AD patients, the mechanism by which mutant P301L hTau leads to dementia is not fully elucidated. Here, we studied the effects of P301L hTau transduction in the medial EC (MEC) of mice on tau phosphorylation and accumulation, and cognitive deficit. We found that the exogenous mutant tau protein was restricted in MEC without spreading to other brain regions at one month after transduction. Interestingly, expression of the mutant tau in MEC induces endogenous tau hyperphosphorylation and accumulation in hippocampus and cortex, and inhibits neuronal activity with attenuated PP-DG synapse plasticity, leading to hippocampus-dependent memory deficit with intact olfactory function. These findings suggest a novel neuropathological mechanism of early AD, which is initiated by tau accumulation in MEC, and demonstrate a tau pathological model of early stage AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3914
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


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