Age-related cognitive decline in spatial learning and memory of C57BL/ 6J mice

Jhana O. Hendrickx, Sofie De Moudt, Elke Calus, Peter Paul De Deyn, Debby Van Dam, Guido R. Y. De Meyer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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During the last decades, most of the preclinical neurodegenerative research was performed in mouse models of amyloidosis, tauopathies or α-synucleinopathies preferentially maintained on a C57BL/6J background. However, comprehensive neurobehavioural data from C57BL/6J mice outlining the critical point of spontaneous cognitive decline are incomplete. In this study, we aimed for the neurobehavioural phenotyping of hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory of aging C57BL/6J mice. Neurobehavioural phenotyping was performed by means of a Morris Water Maze (MWM) and a Novel Object Recognition (NOR) test. MWM measurements revealed signs of age-related memory loss in C57BL/6J animals from the age of 6 months onward. The NOR assessment strengthened latter finding by decreasing discrimination indexes (DI) and recognition indexes (RI) starting from the age of 6 months. Taken together, these findings contribute to the current knowledge of spontaneous cognitive behaviours of this perhaps most widely used mouse strain and serve as a benchmark for dementia mouse models to distinguish spontaneous from pathological neurodegenerative behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113649
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Publication statusPublished - 10-Feb-2022


  • Spontaneous cognitive decline
  • Morris water maze
  • Novel object recognition
  • C57BL
  • 6J

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