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Ann Neurol. 2002 Sep;52(3):285-96.

Astrocyte-specific TSC1 conditional knockout mice exhibit abnormal neuronal organization and seizures.

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Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Children's Hospital, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Persons affected with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) develop a wide range of neurological abnormalities including aberrant neuronal migration and seizures. In an effort to model TSC-associated central nervous system abnormalities in mice, we generated two independent lines of astrocyte-specific Tsc1 conditional knockout mice by using the Cre-LoxP system. Astrocyte-specific Tsc1-null mice exhibit electroencephalographically proven seizures after the first month of age and begin to die at 3 to 4 months. Tsc1-null mice show significant increases in astrocyte numbers throughout the brain by 3 weeks of age and abnormal neuronal organization in the hippocampus between 3 and 5 weeks. Moreover, cultured Tsc1-null astrocytes behave similar to wild-type astrocytes during log phase growth but demonstrate increased saturation density associated with reduced p27(Kip1) expression. Collectively, our results demonstrate that astrocyte-specific disruption of Tsc1 in mice provides a context-dependent growth advantage for astrocytes that results in abnormalities in neuronal organization and epilepsy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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