Effects of Supplemented Zinc on Learning and Memory in Tau Mice (P310L/CaMKII) Using Contextual and Cued Fear Extinction



Hernandez, Carlos M

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) are associated with behavioral disorders in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Research has shown that NFTs play a role in learning impairments and memory deterioration. Neurobehavioral abnormalities like these can be exacerbated by environmental factors such as zinc (Zn). Previous studies conducted in our lab have shown that excessive Zn led to increased freezing levels in animals during cued fear extinction (Railey et al., 2010). In another study that used tau mice, mice showed impaired retention in contextual fear conditioning (Hunsbergera et al., 2014). Therefore, to observe the effects of both NFTs and Zn, mice were bred to possess the P301L tau mutation; consisting of both the human microtubule associated protein tau (huMAPT) mutation and the tTA transgene, with the CaMKII activator. The tau mice were subsequently raised on 10ppm supplemented zinc water. To test the animal’s learning and memory, cued and contextual fear conditioning will be conducted at 6 months of age. Since learning and memory is impaired in the tau mice it is hypothesized that they will perform poorly in fear extinction. It is also hypothesized that zinc supplemented mice will perform poorly in the experiment, as zinc has shown to effect fear extinction in mice.



Tau, Zinc, P301L, Fear extinction