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      GFP-Mutant Human Tau Transgenic Mice Develop Tauopathy Following CNS Injections of Alzheimer's Brain-Derived Pathological Tau or Synthetic Mutant Human Tau Fibrils

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          <p class="first" id="d13090642e221">Neurodegenerative proteinopathies characterized by intracellular aggregates of tau proteins, termed tauopathies, include Alzheimer's disease (AD), frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with tau pathology (FTLD-tau), and related disorders. Pathological tau proteins derived from human AD brains (AD-tau) act as proteopathic seeds that initiate the templated aggregation of soluble tau upon intracerebral injection into tau transgenic (Tg) and wild-type mice, thereby modeling human tau pathology. In this study, we found that aged Tg mice of both sexes expressing human tau proteins harboring a pathogenic P301L <i>MAPT</i> mutation labeled with green fluorescent protein (T40PL-GFP Tg mouse line) exhibited hyperphosphorylated tau mislocalized to the somatodentritic domain of neurons, but these mice did not develop <i>de novo</i> insoluble tau aggregates, which are characteristic of human AD and related tauopathies. However, intracerebral injections of either T40PL preformed fibrils (PFFs) or AD-tau seeds into T40PL-GFP mice induced abundant intraneuronal pathological inclusions of hyperphosphorylated T40PL-GFP. These injections of pathological tau resulted in the propagation of tau pathology from the injection site to neuroanatomically connected brain regions, and these tau inclusions consisted of both T40PL-GFP and WT endogenous mouse tau. Primary neurons cultured from the brains of neonatal T40PL-GFP mice provided an informative <i>in vitro</i> model for examining the uptake and localization of tau PFFs. These findings demonstrate the seeded aggregation of T40PL-GFP <i>in vivo</i> by synthetic PFFs and human AD-tau and the utility of this system to study the neuropathological spread of tau aggregates. </p><p id="d13090642e235"> <b>SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT</b> The stereotypical spread of pathological tau protein aggregates have recently been attributed to the transmission of proteopathic seeds. Despite the extensive use of transgenic mouse models to investigate the propagation of tau pathology <i>in vivo</i>, details of the aggregation process such as the early seeding events leading to new tau pathology have remained elusive. This study validates the use of GFP-labeled tau expressed by neurons <i>in vivo</i> and <i>in vitro</i> as models for investigating mechanisms underlying the seeded transmission of tau pathology as well as tau-focused drug discovery to identify disease-modifying therapies for AD and related tauopathies. </p>

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          Author and article information

          The Journal of Neuroscience
          J. Neurosci.
          Society for Neuroscience
          November 22 2017
          November 22 2017
          November 22 2017
          October 06 2017
          : 37
          : 47
          : 11485-11494
          © 2017


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