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Int J Exp Pathol. 2013 Feb;94(1):56-64. doi: 10.1111/iep.12006.

Premature death of TDP-43 (A315T) transgenic mice due to gastrointestinal complications prior to development of full neurological symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, Center for Translational Neuroscience, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA.


Abnormal distribution, modification and aggregation of transactivation response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) are the hallmarks of multiple neurodegenerative diseases, especially frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (FTLD-U) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Transgenic mouse lines overexpressing wild-type or mutant TDP-43 exhibit ALS-like symptom, motor abnormalities and early paralysis followed by death. Reports on lifespan and phenotypic behaviour in Prp-TDP-43 (A315T) vary, and these animals are not fully characterized. Although it has been proposed that the approximate 20% loss of motor neurons at end stage is responsible for the severe weakness and death in TDP-43 mice, this degree of neurologic damage appears insufficient to cause death. Hence we studied these mice to further characterize and determine the reason for the death. Our characterization of TDP-43 transgenic mice showed that these mice develop ALS-like symptoms that later become compounded by gastrointestinal (GI) complications that resulted in death. This is the first report of a set of pathological evidence in the GI track that is strong indicator for the cause of death of Prp-hTDP-43 (A315T) transgenic mice.

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