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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Age-Related Changes in the Behavior of Apolipoprotein E Knockout Mice

1
National Center for Laboratory Animal Breeding (CENPALAB), Calle 3ra N° 40759 entre 6ta y Carretera Tirabeque, Reparto La Unión, Boyeros, La Habana 10800, Cuba
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National Center for Bioproducts (BIOCEN), Carretera de Beltrán, Km. 1 1/2, Bejucal 32600, Mayabeque, Cuba
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Institute for Marine Sciences (ICIMAR), Calle Loma entre 35 y 37, Plaza de la Revolución, La Habana 10400, Cuba
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Center for Neurosciences (CNEURO), Ave. 25 y 158 No. 15202, Cubanacán, Playa, La Habana 11300, Cuba
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8030033
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 3 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State of Art in Non-Clinical Models for Neurodegenerative Diseases)
The knockout mouse model, B6.129P2-Apoetm1Unc is homozygotic for the Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) deletion; thus, it is capable of developing hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis but ApoE is also a lipid-transport protein abundantly expressed in most neurons in the central nervous system, so these animals could also be models of neurodegenerative diseases. The aim of this study was to determine age-related changes in spontaneous behavior and in learning and memory of Apolipoprotein E knockout mice. Spontaneous behavioral measurements included sleeping pattern, motor coordination and balance by rotarod and open field activity, whereas learning and memory tests included forced alternation in Y-maze, novel object recognition and passive avoidance conditioning. Significant behavioral differences between aged knockout mice and age-matched wild type strain, C57Bl/6 were found in all the behavioral tests, except for the rotarod test. Genetically’ modified mice exhibited less huddling contact during sleeping, decreased locomotor activity in novel environments and in learning and memory deficits. These results are consistent with the cognitive impairment and memory loss seen as the earliest clinical symptoms in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. The ApoE knockout mice might therefore be an appropriate model for studying the underlying mechanisms involved in behavioral changes caused by neurodegenerative diseases as well as for evaluating new therapies for these pathologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: aging; ApoE; behavior; mice; neurodegenerative disorder aging; ApoE; behavior; mice; neurodegenerative disorder
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Fuentes, D.; Fernández, N.; García, Y.; García, T.; Morales, A.R.; Menéndez, R. Age-Related Changes in the Behavior of Apolipoprotein E Knockout Mice. Behav. Sci. 2018, 8, 33.

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