A mouse model of amyloid pathology was used to first examine using a cross sectional design changes in retrosplenial cortex activity in transgenic mice aged 5, 11, 17, and 23 months. Attention focused on: (1) overt amyloid labeled with beta-amyloid((1-42)) and Congo Red staining, (2) metabolic function assessed by the enzyme, cytochrome oxidase, and (3) neuronal activity as assessed indirectly by the immediate-early gene (IEG), c-Fos. Changes in cytochrome oxidase and c-Fos activity were observed in the retrosplenial cortex in Tg2576 mice as early as 5 months of age, long before evidence of plaque formation. Subsequent analyses concentrating on this early dysfunction revealed at 5 months pervasive, amyloid precursor protein (APP)-derived peptide accumulation in the retrosplenial cortex and selective afferents (anterior thalamus, hippocampus), which was associated with the observed c-Fos hyporeactivity. These findings indicate that retrosplenial cortex dysfunction occurs during early stages of amyloid production in Tg2576 mice and may contribute to cognitive dysfunction. (C) 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.