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Hum Mol Genet. 2001 Jan 15;10(2):137-44.

Neurological abnormalities in a knock-in mouse model of Huntington's disease.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.


Mice representing precise genetic replicas of Huntington's disease (HD) were made using gene targeting to replace the short CAG repeat of the mouse Huntington's disease gene homolog (HDH:) with CAG repeats within the length range found to cause HD in humans. Mice with alleles of approximately 150 units in length exhibit late-onset behavioral and neuroanatomic abnormalities consistent with HD. These symptoms include a motor task deficit, gait abnormalities, reactive gliosis and the formation of neuronal intranuclear inclusions predominating in the striatum. This model differs from previously described HDH: knock-ins by its method of construction, longer repeat length and more severe phenotype. To our knowledge, this is the first knock-in mouse model of HD to show increased glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity in the striatum, suggesting that these mice have neuronal injury similar to that found early in the course of HD. These mice will serve as useful reagents in experiments designed to reveal the molecular nature of neuronal dysfunction underlying HD.

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