BACKGROUND: Circadian disruption has long been recognized as a symptom of Alzheimer's disease (AD); however, emerging data suggests that circadian dysfunction occurs early on in disease development, potentially preceding any noticeable cognitive deficits.

OBJECTIVE: This study compares the onset of AD in male and female wild type (C57BL6/J), transgenic (AβPP/PS1), and knock-in (APPNL-F/NL-F) AD mouse models from the period of plaque initiation (6 months) through 12 months.

METHODS: Rhythmic daily activity patterns, glucose sensitivity, cognitive function (Morris water maze, MWM), and AD pathology (plaques formation) were assessed. A comparison was made across sexes.

RESULTS: Sex-dependent hyperactivity in AβPP/PS1 mice was observed. In comparison to C57BL/6J animals, 6-month-old male AβPP/PS1 demonstrated nighttime hyperactivity, as did 12-month-old females. Female AβPP/PS1 animals performed significantly worse on a MWM task than AβPP/PS1 males at 12 months and trended toward increased plaque pathology. APPNL-F/NL-F 12-month-old males performed significantly worse on the MWM task compared to 12-month-old females. Significantly greater plaque pathology occurred in AβPP/PS1 animals as compared to APPNL-F/NL-F animals. Female AβPP/PS1 animals performed significantly worse than APPNL-F/NL-F animals in spatial learning and memory tasks, though this was reversed in males.

CONCLUSION: Taken together, this study provides novel insights into baseline sex differences, as well as characterizes baseline diurnal activity variations, in the AβPP/PS1 and APPNL-F/NL-F AD mouse models.



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