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Dev Dyn. 1997 Mar;208(3):432-46.

Inactivation of two mouse alkaline phosphatase genes and establishment of a model of infantile hypophosphatasia.

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  • 1The Burnham Institute, La Jolla Cancer Research Center, California 92037, USA.


We report the inactivation, via homologous recombination, of two of the three active mouse alkaline phosphatase genes, i.e., embryonic (EAP) and tissue nonspecific (TNAP). Whereas expression of the EAP isozyme was abolished in all tissues that express EAP developmentally (such as the preimplantation embryo, thymus, and testis), the EAP knock-out mice show no obvious phenotypic abnormalities. They reproduce normally and give birth to live offspring, indicating the nonessential role of EAP during embryonic development. Mice deficient in the TNAP gene mimic a severe form of hypophosphatasia. These TNAP-/- mice are growth impaired, develop epileptic seizures and apnea, and die before weaning. Examination of the tissues indicates abnormal bone mineralization and morphological changes in the osteoblasts, aberrant development of the lumbar nerve roots, disturbances in intestinal physiology, increased apoptosis in the thymus, and abnormal spleens. Our results indicate that, in the mouse, TNAP appears not to be essential for the initial events leading to bone mineral deposition but that TNAP seems to play a role in the maintenance of this process after birth. The other phenotypic manifestations may be a consequence of the lack of TNAP in the developing neural tube between stages E8.5 and E13.5 of embryogenesis. We hypothesize that the autonomic nervous system is compromised in these TNAP-/- mice.

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