To analyze the relationship between the deposition of amyloid β peptides (Aβ) and neuronal loss in transgenic models of Alzheimer's disease (AD), we examined the frontal neocortex (Fc) and CA1 portion of hippocampus (CA1) in PSAPP mice doubly expressing AD-associated mutant presenilin 1 (PS1) and Swedish-type mutant β amyloid precursor protein (APPsw) by morphometry of Aβ burden and neuronal counts. Deposition of Aβ was detected as early as 3 months of age in the Fc and CA1 of PSAPP mice and progressed to cover 28.3% of the superior frontal cortex and 18.4% of CA1 at 12 months: ˜20- (FC) and ˜40- (CA1) fold greater deposition than in APPsw mice. There was no significant difference in neuronal counts in either CA1 or the frontal cortex between nontransgenic (non-tg), PS1 transgenic, APPsw, and PSAPP mice at 3 to 12 months of age. In the PSAPP mice, there was disorganization of the neuronal architecture by compact amyloid plaques, and the average number of neurons was 8 to 10% fewer than the other groups (NS, P > 0.10) in CA1 and 2 to 20% fewer in frontal cortex (NS, P = 0.31). There was no loss of total synaptophysin immunoreactivity in the Fc or dentate gyrus molecular layer of the 12-month-old PSAPP mice. Thus, although co-expression of mutant PS1 with Swedish mutant βAPP leads to marked cortical and limbic Aβ deposition in an age-dependent manner, it does not result in the dramatic neuronal loss in hippocampus and association cortex characteristic of AD.