Age‐related deterioration of motor function in male and female 5xFAD mice from 3‐16 months of age
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that leads to age‐related cognitive and sensori‐motor dysfunction. There is an increased understanding that motor dysfunction contributes to overall AD severity, and a need to ameliorate these impairments. The 5xFAD mouse develops the neuropathology, cognitive and motor impairments observed in AD, and thus may be a valuable animal model to study motor deficits in AD. Therefore, we assessed age‐related changes in motor ability of male and female 5xFAD mice from 3‐16 months of age, using a battery of behavioural tests. At 9‐10 months, 5xFAD mice showed reduced body weight, reduced rearing in the open‐field and impaired performance on the rotarod compared to wild‐type controls. At 12‐13 months, 5xFAD mice showed reduced locomotor activity on the open‐field, and impaired balance on the balance beam. At 15‐16 months, impairments were also seen in grip strength. Although sex differences were observed at specific ages, the development of motor dysfunction was similar in male and female mice. Given the 5xFAD mouse is commonly on a C57BL/6 x SJL hybrid background, a subset of mice may be homozygous recessive for the Dysfim mutant allele, which leads to muscular weakness in SJL mice and may exacerbate motor dysfunction. We found small effects of Dysfim on motor function, suggesting that Dysfim contributes little to motor dysfunction in 5xFAD mice. We conclude that the 5xFAD mouse may be a useful model to study mechanisms that produce motor dysfunction in AD, and to assess the efficacy of therapeutics on ameliorating motor impairment.
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Publisher URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/gbb.12538