Research Models

Tau P301S (Line PS19)

Synonyms: PS19Tg

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Species: Mouse
Genes: MAPT
Mutations: MAPT P301S
Modification: MAPT: Transgenic
Disease Relevance: Alzheimer's Disease, Frontotemporal Dementia
Strain Name: B6;C3-Tg(Prnp-MAPT*P301S)PS19Vle/J
Genetic Background: (C57BL/6 x C3H)F1
Availability: The Jackson Lab: Stock# 008169; Live

Summary

This widely used tauopathy model was developed at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine by Virginia Lee, John Trojanowski, and colleagues. As first reported in 2007 on a mixed background, PS19 mice develop neuronal loss and brain atrophy by eight months, principally in the hippocampus but spreading to other brain regions, including the neocortex and entorhinal cortex. They develop widespread neurofibrillary tangle-like inclusions in the neocortex, amygdala, hippocampus, brain stem, and spinal cord. Tangle pathology is accompanied by microgliosis and astrocytosis, but not amyloid plaques (Yoshiyama et al., 2007).

Behaviorally, PS19 mice display signs of age-associated cognitive impairment, including selective deficits in spatial learning and memory ability in the Morris water maze (Takeuchi et al., 2011). Other age-associated behavioral abnormalities include clasping and limb retraction when lifted by the tail, followed by limb weakness. These motor deficits progress to paralysis at seven to 10 months, associated with a hunched-back posture and feeding difficulties. Approximately 80 percent mortality occurs by 12 months in the mixed-background mice, with median survival of about nine months (Yoshiyama et al., 2007).

Recently, some reports have indicated a delay in the onset of pathology in mixed-background PS19 mice. This delay has been reported in mice maintained at the University of Pennsylvania (e.g. Zhang et al., 2012; Iba et al., 2013), but does not appear to affect the Jackson Lab colony at this time (see comment by Mike Sasner below).

Originally bred on a mixed background, PS19 mice have now been backcrossed with C57BL/6J to generate a congenic line (see Related Strains, below). Although not yet as thoroughly characterized as the mixed-background mice, the congenics also show tangle pathology and neuronal loss. They develop neurofibrillary tanglelike inclusions in the brain stem and spinal cord starting around six months of age. Neuronal loss is observed later, around nine months, notably in the hippocampus and brain stem (Maruyama et al, 2013). They also exhibit impaired spontaneous alternation behavior in a Y-maze memory task, increased hyperactivity and decreased anxiety-like behavior, increased prepulse inhibition (startle response), and decreased thermal nociceptive threshold (Takeuchi et al., 2011).

Modification Details

PS19 transgenic mice express mutant human microtubule-associated protein tau, MAPT, driven by the mouse prion protein (Prnp) promoter. The transgene encodes the disease-associated P301S mutation and includes four microtubule-binding domains and one N-terminal insert (4R/1N). Expression of the mutant human tau is fivefold higher than that of the endogenous mouse protein (Yoshiyama et al., 2007).

Related Strains

B6N.Cg-Tg(Prnp-MAPT*P301S)PS19Vle/J The Jackson Lab: Stock# 024841; Cryopreserved

Phenotype Timeline

When visualized, these models will distributed over a 18 month timeline demarcated at the following intervals: 1mo, 3mo, 6mo, 9mo, 12mo, 15mo, 18mo+.

Observed

Absent

  • Plaques

Unknown

Plaques

Absent.

Tangles

Neurofibrillary tangles in the neocortex, amygdala, hippocampus, brain stem and spinal cord at 6 months with progressive accumulation (Yoshiyama et al., 2007).

Neuronal Loss

Neuron loss in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex by 9-12 months, as well as in the amygdala and neocortex becoming more severe by 12 months (Yoshiyama et al., 2007).

Gliosis

Microgliosis at 3 months, especially in the white matter of the brain and spinal cord. Increased microgliosis by 6 months in white and gray matter of the hippocampus, amygdala, entorhinal cortex and spinal cord. Microglial activation precedes astrogliosis (Yoshiyama et al., 2007).

Synaptic Loss

Synaptophysin immunoreactivity decreased progressively from 3-6 months in the CA3 region of the hippocamus. Impaired synaptic function (Yoshiyama et al., 2007).

Changes in LTP/LTD

Reduced LTP in the CA1 region of the hippocampus at 6 months. Altered basal synaptic transmission (smaller fiber volley amplitude, fEPSP slopes, and amplitudes) (Yoshiyama et al., 2007).

Cognitive Impairment

Impairments in spatial learning and memory ability in the Morris water maze in 6 month old animals (Takeuchi et al., 2011).

COMMENTS / QUESTIONS

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Comments

  1. As of August 2014, we have not seen evidence of the phenotypic drift (later onset of symptoms) in the Jackson Laboratory colony as was reported by Dr. Virginia Lee's lab (Iba et al., 2013).

    References:

    . Synthetic tau fibrils mediate transmission of neurofibrillary tangles in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's-like tauopathy. J Neurosci. 2013 Jan 16;33(3):1024-37. PubMed.

References

Paper Citations

  1. . Synapse loss and microglial activation precede tangles in a P301S tauopathy mouse model. Neuron. 2007 Feb 1;53(3):337-51. PubMed.
  2. . P301S mutant human tau transgenic mice manifest early symptoms of human tauopathies with dementia and altered sensorimotor gating. PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e21050. PubMed.
  3. . The microtubule-stabilizing agent, epothilone D, reduces axonal dysfunction, neurotoxicity, cognitive deficits, and Alzheimer-like pathology in an interventional study with aged tau transgenic mice. J Neurosci. 2012 Mar 14;32(11):3601-11. PubMed.
  4. . Synthetic tau fibrils mediate transmission of neurofibrillary tangles in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's-like tauopathy. J Neurosci. 2013 Jan 16;33(3):1024-37. PubMed.
  5. . Imaging of tau pathology in a tauopathy mouse model and in Alzheimer patients compared to normal controls. Neuron. 2013 Sep 18;79(6):1094-108. PubMed.

External Citations

  1. The Jackson Lab: Stock# 024841
  2. The Jackson Lab: Stock# 008169

Further Reading

Papers

  1. . Epothilone D improves microtubule density, axonal integrity, and cognition in a transgenic mouse model of tauopathy. J Neurosci. 2010 Oct 13;30(41):13861-6. PubMed.