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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Apr 21;112(16):5129-34. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1504809112. Epub 2015 Apr 6.

Seizure-like activity in a juvenile Angelman syndrome mouse model is attenuated by reducing Arc expression.

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Department of Neurobiology, and.
Department of Neurology, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.
Department of Neurobiology, and


Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder arising from loss-of-function mutations in the maternally inherited copy of the UBE3A gene, and is characterized by an absence of speech, excessive laughter, cognitive delay, motor deficits, and seizures. Despite the fact that the symptoms of AS occur in early childhood, behavioral characterization of AS mouse models has focused primarily on adult phenotypes. In this report we describe juvenile behaviors in AS mice that are strain-independent and clinically relevant. We find that young AS mice, compared with their wild-type littermates, produce an increased number of ultrasonic vocalizations. In addition, young AS mice have defects in motor coordination, as well as abnormal brain activity that results in an enhanced seizure-like response to an audiogenic challenge. The enhanced seizure-like activity, but not the increased ultrasonic vocalizations or motor deficits, is rescued in juvenile AS mice by genetically reducing the expression level of the activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein, Arc. These findings suggest that therapeutic interventions that reduce the level of Arc expression have the potential to reverse the seizures associated with AS. In addition, the identification of aberrant behaviors in young AS mice may provide clues regarding the neural circuit defects that occur in AS and ultimately allow new approaches for treating this disorder.


ARC; Angelman syndrome; EEG; EPHEXIN5; ultrasonic vocalizations

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