Performance of transgenic TgTau-P301L mice in a 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) as a model of Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease is increasing to epidemic levels with an estimated 36 million people affected worldwide (Wimo 2010). The aetiology of the disease is not known, which is hindering the progression of the treatment. This study is a longitudinal investigation into the performance of TgTauP301L mice as an animal model of Alzheimer's disease on the computer automated touchscreen 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT). TgTauP301L mice have a single tau mutation in the P301L gene and develop the tau pathology that represents the observed tauopathy in patients with Alzheimer's disease. The aim of the investigation is to observe if tau pathology in the TgTauP301L mice causes a cognitive impairment in attention and executive function and at what stage this can be identified by the 5-CSRTT task. This will establish if the animals can be used as a therapeutic model for pre-clinical drug trials and help to identify an early indicator and intervention point in patients with Alzheimer's disease. The animals have previously been studied at 5-months and no differences between performances of the TgTauP301L mice and wild type mice were found (unpublished data). This study measured the performance of the animals at 7-months which is when the tauopathy begins to develop in TgTauP301L mice (Murakami 2005). The results of this study showed that there was no deficit in the performance of the TgTauP301L compared to the wild type mice and there had been no change in the animals' performance compared to at 5-months. The animals will be retested at 12-months once the pathology has extensively spread to see if the tauopathy causes a deficit in performance.