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Behav Genet. 1990 Mar;20(2):213-34.

The dysmyelinating mouse mutations shiverer (shi) and myelin deficient (shimld).

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Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 91125.


Shiverer (shi/shi) is an autosomal recessive mouse mutation that produces a shivering phenotype in affected mice. A shivering gait can be seen from a few weeks after birth until their early death, which occurs between 50 and 100 days. The central nervous system of the mutant mouse is hypomyelinated but the peripheral nervous system appears normal. The myelin of the CNS, wherever present, is not well compacted and lacks the major dense line. Myelin basic protein (MBP), which is associated with the major dense line, is absent, and this is due to a deletion of the major part of the gene encoding MBP. Transgenic shiverer mice that have integrated and express the wild-type mouse MBP transgene no longer shiver and have normal life spans. Conversely, normal mice that have integrated an antisense MBP transgene, shiver. Myelin deficient shimld/shimld is allelic to shiverer (shi/shi) but the mutant mouse is less severely affected. Although MBP is present in the CNS, it is low in quantity and is not developmentally regulated. The gene encoding MBP has been both duplicated and inverted. Transgenic shimld/shimld mice with the wild-type MBP transgene have normal phenotypes.

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