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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2011, Article ID 171464, 10 pages
Research Article

A Comparative Study of Five Mouse Models of Alzheimer's Disease: Cell Cycle Events Reveal New Insights into Neurons at Risk for Death

Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rutgers University, B211 Nelson Labs, 604 Allison Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854-6999, USA

Received 25 April 2011; Revised 6 July 2011; Accepted 11 July 2011

Academic Editor: Steven D. Edland

Copyright © 2011 Luming Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ectopic cell cycle events (CCEs) in postmitotic neurons link the neurodegenerative process in human Alzheimer's disease (AD) with the brain phenotype of transgenic mouse models with known familial AD genes. Most reports on the mouse models use the appearance of brain amyloid pathology as a key outcome measure. In the current paper, we focus on the induction of neurodegeneration using CCEs as markers for impending neuronal loss. We compare 5 mouse models of familial AD for the appearance of CCEs in subcortical regions—deep cerebellar nuclei, amygdala, locus coeruleus, hippocampus, and dorsal raphe. We find that the models differ in their CCE involvement as well as in the appearance of phosphorylated tau and amyloid deposition, suggesting that each model represents a different disease phenotype. Comparison with the pattern of neuron death in human AD suggests that each may represent a distinctly different disease model when used in preclinical trials.