Transgenic models of Alzheimer's disease: Better utilization of existing models through viral transgenesis

Thomas L. Platt, Valerie L. Reeves, M. Paul Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Animal models have been used for decades in the Alzheimer's disease (AD) research field and have been crucial for the advancement of our understanding of the disease. Most models are based on familial AD mutations of genes involved in the amyloidogenic process, such as the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilin 1 (PS1). Some models also incorporate mutations in tau (MAPT) known to cause frontotemporal dementia, a neurodegenerative disease that shares some elements of neuropathology with AD. While these models are complex, they fail to display pathology that perfectly recapitulates that of the human disease. Unfortunately, this level of pre-existing complexity creates a barrier to the further modification and improvement of these models. However, as the efficacy and safety of viral vectors improves, their use as an alternative to germline genetic modification is becoming a widely used research tool. In this review we discuss how this approach can be used to better utilize common mouse models in AD research. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Animal Models of Disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1437-1448
Number of pages12
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Ms. Tina L. Beckett and Dr. Dana M. Niedowicz for their assistance and advice during preparation of the manuscript. This work is supported by the Alzheimer's Association ( IIRG-10-172905 ) and the National Institutes of Health ( NS058382 ).


  • Adeno-associated virus
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Lentivirus
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Transgenic mouse model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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