Tau conditional knockout mice to elucidate the function of tau in the adult brain

Research project

Description

AbstractTau is a protein involved in several neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD),frontotemporal dementia, Pick's disease, and corticobasal degeneration. Growing evidence points to tau as avalid therapeutic target for mitigating some of these disorders. However, the role of tau in the adult brainremains elusive. We used homologous recombination to flox exon 4 of the mouse tau gene. By combiningthese tau floxed mice with an inducible, neuronal-specific, CRE line, we are uniquely positioned to selectivelyknockout Mapt in adult neurons. In this application, we will test the hypothesis that tau is necessary forlearning and memory in the adult brain. Specifically, we will leverage these newly developed tau conditionalknockout mice by removing tau from the brains of 6-month-old mice. This will be accomplished by crossing thetau floxed mice with a tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombinase, whose expression is controlled by a neuronalspecific promoter. We will assess the acute and chronic effect of knocking out tau by testing mice in a batteryof cognitive and non-cognitive behavioral tests, one week and two months after the Cre-mediated removal ofMapt. We will also perform rescue experiments using the three major murine tau isoforms. These experimentswill determine whether removing tau in the brain of adult mice has an effect on cognitive and motor function.This is a critical step towards the development of anti-tau therapies for AD and other tauopathies. In summary,we have generated the much needed tau conditional knockout mice, which will allow us to selectively andinducibly ablate Mapt in the adult brain. These mice may have a long-lasting impact on the field and mayrepresent an invaluable tool to evaluate the role of tau and study potential anti-tau therapies in AD and othertauopathies.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date7/15/166/30/18

Funding

  • National Institutes of Health: $193,125.00

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Knockout Mice
Brain
Alzheimer Disease
Therapeutics
Pick Disease of the Brain
Tauopathies
Frontotemporal Dementia
Homologous Recombination
Tamoxifen
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Cognition
Exons
Protein Isoforms
Neurons
Genes
Proteins