1994 Volume 174 Issue 3 Pages 241-249
NABESHIMA, T. and NITTA, A. Memory Impairment and Neuronal Dysfunction Induced by β-Amyloid Protein in Rats. Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 1994, 174 (3), 241-249 - Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by the presence of senile plaques. The core of the plaque consists of β-amyloid protein. In AD patients, learning and memory are impaired with a concomitant loss of the cholinergic marker enzyme, choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). However, direct evidence that β-amyloid protein is related to the impairment of learning and memory has not been demonstrated. In this study, we investigated whether memory impairment and neuronal dysfunction were produced after 2 weeks continuous infusion of β-amyloid protein (3, 30 and 300pmol/day) into the cerebral ventricles in adult rats. To investigate the ability of learning and memory in β-amyloid proteintreated rats, water maze and passive avoidance tasks were carried out. The performance of both tasks in β-amyloid protein-treated rats was impaired. ChAT activity in the frontal cortex (3 and 30pmol/day) and hippocampus (300pmol/day) significantly decreased. These results suggest that β-amyloid protein is related to the impairment of learning and memory, and neurodegeneration, and that β-amyloid protein-treated rats could be used as an animal model for AD.