Early onset of behavioral alterations in senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8)

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Senescence-accelerated mouse (SAM) is inbred lines of mice originally developed from AKR/J mice. Among the six SAM prone (SAMP) substrains, 8- to 12-month-old SAMP8 have long been used as a model of age-related cognitive impairments. However, little is still known for younger SAMP8 mice. Here, we examined the phenotypical characteristics of 4-month-old SAMP8 using a battery of behavioral tests. Four-month-old SAMP8 mice failed to recognize spatially displaced object in an object recognition task and performed poorly in the probe test of the Morris water maze task compared to SAMR1, suggesting that SAMP8 have impaired spatial memory. In addition, young SAMP8 exhibited enhanced anxiety-like behavior in an open field test and showed depression-like behavior in the forced-swim test. Their circadian rhythm was also disrupted. These abnormal behaviors of young SAMP8 are similar to behavioral alterations also observed in aged mice. In summary, age-related behavioral alterations occur in SAMP8 as young as 4 months old.

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