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J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2006 Dec;65(12):1126-36.

Motor neuron disease in mice expressing the wild type-like D90A mutant superoxide dismutase-1.

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Department of Medical Biosciences, Umeå University Hospital, SE-901 85 Umeå, Sweden.


Mutant human CuZn-superoxide dismutases (hSOD1s) cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The most common mutation is the wild type-like D90A and to explore its properties, transgenic mice were generated and compared with mice expressing wild-type hSOD1. D90A hSOD1 was both in vivo in mice and in vitro under denaturing conditions nearly as stable as the wild-type human enzyme. It appeared less toxic than other tested mutants, but mice homozygous for the transgene insertion developed a fatal motor neuron disease. In these mice, the disease progression was slow and there were bladder disturbances similar to what is found in human ALS cases homozygous for the D90A mutation. The homozygous D90A mice accumulated detergent-resistant hSOD1 aggregates in spinal cords, and abundant hSOD1 inclusions and vacuoles were seen in the ventral horns. Mice expressing wild-type hSOD1 at a comparable rate showed similar pathologic changes but less and later. Hemizygous D90A mice showed even milder alterations. At 600 days, the wild-type hSOD1 transgenic mice had lost more ventral horn neurons than hemizygous D90A mice (38% vs 31% p < 0.01). Thus, wild-type hSOD1 shows a significant neurotoxicity in the spinal cord, that is less than equal but more than half as large as that of D90A mutant enzyme.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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