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Science. 1990 Dec 14;250(4987):1587-90.

Spontaneous neurodegeneration in transgenic mice with mutant prion protein.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


Transgenic mice were created to assess genetic linkage between Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome and a leucine substitution at codon 102 of the human prion protein gene. Spontaneous neurologic disease with spongiform degeneration and gliosis similar to that in mouse scrapie developed at a mean age of 166 days in 35 mice expressing mouse prion protein with the leucine substitution. Thus, many of the clinical and pathological features of Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome are reproduced in transgenic mice containing a prion protein with a single amino acid substitution, illustrating that a neurodegenerative process similar to a human disease can be genetically modeled in animals.

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