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    Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (DSCAM) is located within the Down syndrome critical region of chromosome 21. DSCAM is a broadly expressed neurodevelopmental protein involved in synaptogenesis, neurite outgrowth, and axon guidance. We previously demonstrated DSCAM overexpression in the cortex of amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgenic mice, suggesting possible regulatory interactions between APP and DSCAM. APP mice exhibit deficits in hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. In this preliminary study, we examined age-related changes in DSCAM expression within the hippocampus in 16 APP transgenic mice (1, 3, 6 and 12 months old). Hippocampus-dependent spatial memory was assessed in APP mice and age-matched wild type littermates (WTs) using the Morris water maze (MWM). The cellular distribution of hippocampal DSCAM and total expression at both mRNA and protein levels were measured by immunohistochemistry, qRT-PCR, and western blotting, respectively. APP mice exhibited spatial memory deficits in the MWM. Intense DSCAM immunoreactivity was observed in the dentate gyrus granule cell layer and hippocampal stratum pyramidale. Total hippocampal DSCAM mRNA and protein expression levels were substantially higher in APP mice than WTs at 1 and 3 months of age. Expression decreased with age in both groups but remained higher in APP mice. DSCAM is overexpressed in the hippocampus over the first 12 months of life in APP mice, but especially during maturation to adulthood. In conclusion, these results suggest an association between DSCAM and APP mice, which is characterized by neuropathology and behavioral deficits. These results provide some clues for future studies on the role of DSCAM overexpression in the precocious cognitive decline observed in APP transgenic mice.


    Y L Jia, Z X Fu, B H Zhang, Y J Jia. Hippocampal overexpression of Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule in amyloid precursor protein transgenic mice. Brazilian journal of medical and biological research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas medicas e biologicas. 2017 May 15;50(6):e6049

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    PMID: 28513774

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