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Neuroscience - Ophthalmology - Physiology

Reduced Axonal Transport and Increased Excitotoxic Retinal Ganglion Cell Degeneration in Mice Transgenic for Human Mutant P301S Tau
Published: Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Author: Natalie D. Bull et al.

by Natalie D. Bull, Alessandra Guidi, Michel Goedert, Keith R. Martin, Maria Grazia Spillantini

The effects of tau hyperphosphorylation and aggregation on axonal transport were investigated in the optic nerve of mice transgenic for human mutant P301S tau. Transport was examined using cholera toxin B tracing. Retrograde transport was reduced in transgenic mice at 3 and 5 months of age, when compared to C57/Bl6 control mice. Anterograde axonal transport was also reduced in 3-month-old transgenic mice. Mild excitotoxic injury of retinal ganglion cells resulted in greater nerve cell loss in retinas from 3- and 5-month old P301S transgenic mice, when compared to controls. In conjunction with the detection of abnormal tau in the optic nerve in human and experimental glaucoma, the present findings suggest that tau hyperphosphorylation and aggregation may constitute targets for neuroprotective therapies in glaucoma as well as tauopathies.