CNS cell type-specific gene profiling of P301S tau transgenic mice identifies genes dysregulated by progressive tau accumulation

Yazi D. Ke, Gabriella Chan, Kristie Stefanoska, Carol Au, Mian Bi, Julius Müller, Magdalena Przybyla, Astrid Feiten, Emmanuel Prikas, Glenda M. Halliday, Olivier Piguet, Matthew C. Kiernan, Michael Kassiou, John R. Hodges, Clement T. Loy, John S. Mattick, Arne Ittner, Jillian J. Kril, Greg T. Sutherland, Lars M. Ittner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The microtubule-associated protein tau undergoes aberrant modification resulting in insoluble brain deposits in various neurodegenerative diseases, including frontotemporal dementia (FTD), progressive supranuclear palsy, and corticobasal degeneration. Tau aggregates can form in different cell types of the central nervous system (CNS) but are most prevalent in neurons. Wehave previously recapitulated aspects of humanFTDin mouse models by overexpressing mutant human tau in CNS neurons, including a P301S tau variant in TAU58/2 mice, characterized by early-onset and progressive behavioral deficits and FTD-like neuropathology. The molecular mechanisms underlying the functional deficits of TAU58/2 mice remain mostly elusive. Here, we employed functional genomics (i.e. RNAseq) to determine differentially expressed genes in young and aged TAU58/2 mice to identify alterations in cellular processes that may contribute to neuropathy. We identified genes in cortical brain samples differentially regulated between young and old TAU58/2 mice relative to nontransgenic littermates and by comparative analysis with a dataset of CNS cell type-specific genes expressed in nontransgenic mice. Most differentially-regulated genes had known or putative roles in neurons and included presynaptic and excitatory genes. Specifically, we observed changes in presynaptic factors, glutamatergic signaling, and protein scaffolding. Moreover, in the aged mice, expression levels of several genes whose expression was annotated to occur in other brain cell types were altered. Immunoblotting and immunostaining of brain samples from the TAU58/2 mice confirmed altered expression and localization of identified and network-linked proteins. Our results have revealed genes dysregulated by progressive tau accumulation in an FTD mouse model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14149-14162
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number38
Early online date31 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2019


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