Several animal models of Alzheimer's disease have been used in laboratory experiments.
Intrahippocampal injection of fibrillar amyloid-beta (fAbeta) peptide represents one
of the most frequently used models, mimicking Abeta deposits in the brain. In our
experiment synthetic fAbeta1-42 peptide was administered to rat hippocampus. The effect
of the Abeta peptide on spatial memory and dendritic spine density was studied. The
fAbeta1-42-treated rats showed decreased spatial learning ability measured in Morris
water maze (MWM). Simultaneously, fAbeta1-42 caused a significant reduction of the
dendritic spine density in the rat hippocampus CA1 region. The decrease of learning
ability and the loss of spine density were in good correlation. Our results prove
that both methods (MWM and dendritic spine density measurement) are suitable for studying
Abeta-triggered neurodegeneration processes.