Behavioral and SCN neurophysiological disruption in the Tg-SwDI mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

Academic Article


  • Disruption of circadian rhythms is commonly reported in individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Neurons in the primary circadian pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), exhibit daily rhythms in spontaneous neuronal activity which are important for maintaining circadian behavioral rhythms. Disruption of SCN neuronal activity has been reported in animal models of other neurodegenerative disorders; however, the effect of AD on SCN neurophysiology remains unknown. In this study we examined circadian behavioral and electrophysiological changes in a mouse model of AD, using male mice from the Tg-SwDI line which expresses human amyloid precursor protein with the familial Swedish (K670N/M671L), Dutch (E693Q), Iowa (D694N) mutations. The free-running period of wheel-running behavior was significantly shorter in Tg-SwDI mice compared to wild-type (WT) controls at all ages examined (3, 6, and 10 months). At the SCN level, the day/night difference in spike rate was significantly dampened in 6–8 month-old Tg-SwDI mice, with decreased AP firing during the day and an increase in neuronal activity at night. The dampening of SCN excitability rhythms in Tg-SwDI mice was not associated with changes in input resistance, resting membrane potential, or action potential afterhyperpolarization amplitude; however, SCN neurons from Tg-SwDI mice had significantly reduced A-type potassium current (IA) during the day compared to WT cells. Taken together, these results provide the first evidence of SCN neurophysiological disruption in a mouse model of AD, and highlight IA as a potential target for AD treatment strategies in the future.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 16059929
  • Author List

  • Paul JR; Munir HA; van Groen T; Gamble KL
  • Start Page

  • 194
  • End Page

  • 200
  • Volume

  • 114