Sensitive quantitative assays for tau and phospho-tau in transgenic mouse models

Christopher M. Acker, Stefanie K. Forest, Ray Zinkowski, Peter Davies, Cristina d'Abramo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Transgenic mouse models have been an invaluable resource in elucidating the complex roles of β-amyloid and tau in Alzheimer's disease. Although many laboratories rely on qualitative or semiquantitative techniques when investigating tau pathology, we have developed 4 Low-Tau, Sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) that quantitatively assess different epitopes of tau relevant to Alzheimer's disease: total tau, pSer-202, pThr-231, and pSer-396/404. In this study, after comparing our assays with commercially available ELISAs, we demonstrate our assay's high specificity and quantitative capabilities using brain homogenates from tau transgenic mice, htau, JNPL3, and tau knockout. All 4 ELISAs show excellent specificity for mouse and human tau, with no reactivity to tau knockout animals. An age-dependent increase of serum tau in both tau transgenic models was also seen. Taken together, these assays are valuable methods to quantify tau and phospho-tau levels in transgenic animals, by examining tau levels in brain and measuring tau as a potential serum biomarker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-350
Number of pages13
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Htau
  • JNPL3
  • Sera
  • Tau transgenic mice
  • Tau-ELISA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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