Okadaic Acid and Hypoxia Induced Dementia Model of Alzheimer’s Type in Rats

Alka Kaushal, Willayat Yousuf Wani, Amanjit Bal, Kiran Dip Gill, Jyotdeep Kaur*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of progressive decline of memory function in aged humans. To study about a disease mechanism and progression, animal models for the specific disease are needed. For AD, although highly valid animal models exist, none of the existing models recapitulates all aspects of human AD. The pathogenic mechanisms involved in AD are diverse and thus it is difficult to recapitulate human AD in model organisms. Intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of okadaic acid (OKA), a protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) inhibitor, in rats causes neurotoxicity associated with neurofibrillary degeneration. However, this model lacks amyloid pathology as observed in AD. We aimed at combining two different treatments and hence producing a better animal model of AD which may mimic most of the neuropathological, neurobehavioral, and neurochemical changes observed in AD. For this, OKA (200 ng) was microinjected bilaterally into the hippocampus of male Wistar rats followed by exposure of same rats to hypoxic conditions (10%) for 3 days. The result of which, the combination model exhibited tau hyperphosphorylation along with Aβ upregulation as evident by western blotting and immunohistochemistry. The observed changes were accompanied with dysfunction of neurotransmitter system, i.e., decreased acetylcholine activity and expression. This combinatorial model also exhibited cognitive deficiency which was assessed by Morris water maze and avoidance tests along with enhanced oxidative stress which is thought to be a major player in AD pathogenesis. Taken together, we established an easily reproducible and reliable rat model for sporadic dementia of Alzheimer’s type in rats which allows effective testing of new therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-634
Number of pages14
JournalNeurotoxicity Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Amyloid beta
  • Hypoxia
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Okadaic acid
  • Stereotaxic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Toxicology


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