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Animal Bioresource in Japan

Frontiers of Model Animals for Neuroscience: Two Prosperous Aging Model Animals for Promoting Neuroscience Research

Koichi Ito
Department of Comparative Pathophysiology, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 1–1–1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan
Abstract :

A model animal showing spontaneous onset is a useful tool for investigating the mechanism of disease. Here, I would like to introduce two aging model animals expected to be useful for neuroscience research: the senescence-accelerated mouse (SAM) and the klotho mouse. The SAM was developed as a mouse showing a senescence-related phenotype such as a short lifespan or rapid advancement of senescence. In particular, SAMP8 and SAMP10 show age-related impairment of learning and memory. SAMP8 has spontaneous spongy degeneration in the brain stem and spinal cord with aging, and immunohistochemical studies reveal excess protein expression of amyloid precursor protein and amyloid β in the brain, indicating that SAMP8 is a model for Alzheimer’s disease. SAMP10 also shows age-related impairment of learning and memory, but it does not seem to correspond to Alzheimer’s disease because senile plaques primarily composed of amyloid β or neurofibrillary tangles primarily composed of phosphorylated tau were not observed. However, severe atrophy in the frontal cortex, entorhinal cortex, amygdala, and nucleus accumbens can be seen in this strain in an age-dependent manner, indicating that SAMP10 is a model for normal aging. The klotho mouse shows a phenotype, regulated by only one gene named α-klotho, similar to human progeria. The α-klotho gene is mainly expressed in the kidney and brain, and oxidative stress is involved in the deterioration of cognitive function of the klotho mouse. These animal models are potentially useful for neuroscience research now and in the near future.

Keywords :
aging, klotho mouse, model animal, neuroscience research, senescence-accelerated mouse

Date Deposited : 06 Apr 2015 12:35

Last Modified : 06 Apr 2015 12:35

Official URL: http://

Volume 62, Number 4, - 2013

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