In vivo functional brain mapping in a conditional mouse model of human tauopathy (tau p301l) reveals reduced neural activity in memory formation structures

Pablo D. Perez, Gabrielle Hall, Tetsuya Kimura, Yan Ren, Rachel M. Bailey, Jada Lewis, Marcelo Febo, Naruhiko Sahara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: Tauopathies are characterized by intracellular deposition of the microtubule-associated protein tau as filamentous aggregates. The rTg4510 mouse conditionally expresses mutant human tau protein in various forebrain areas under the Tet-off expression system. Mice develop neurofibrillary tangles, with significant neuronal loss and cognitive deficits by 6 months of age. Previous behavioral and biochemical work has linked the expression and aggregates of mutant tau to functional impairments. The present work used manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI) to investigate basal levels of brain activity in the rTg4510 and control mice. Results: Our results show an unmistakable curtailment of neural activity in the amygdala and hippocampus, two regions known for their role in memory formation, but not the cortex, cerebellum, striatum and hypothalamus in tau expressing mice. Conclusion: Behavioral impairments associated with changes in activity in these areas may correspond to age progressive mutant tauP301L-induced neurodegeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalMolecular neurodegeneration
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Manganese enhanced MRI
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Tauopathy
  • rTg4510

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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