Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by memory loss and impaired cognitive functions. The higher incidence of AD among women indicates that sex is one of the main risk factor for developing the disease. Using the transgenic amyloid precursor protein × presenilin 1 (APPxPS1) mouse model of AD, we investigated sex inequality with regards to memory capacities and hippocampal plasticity. We report that spatial memory is strongly affected in APPxPS1 females while remarkably spared in males, at all ages tested. Given the contribution of adult neurogenesis to hippocampal-dependent memory processes, we examined whether impaired neurogenesis could account for age-related decline of memory functions in APPxPS1 mice. We show that not only limited numbers of new neurons are generated in these mice, but also, that new granule cells display reduced capacity for synaptic connectivity, a default that is exacerbated in females. Moreover, high densities of hypertrophic astrocytes are observed in the dentate gyrus of APPxPS1 females specifically. By revealing sex-dependent hippocampal alterations, our data may provide causal explanation to APPxPS1 females' memory deficits.
Neurobiology of Aging – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2017
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