Pre-weaning Sensorial and Motor Development in Mice Transpolygenic for the Critical Region of Trisomy 21

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Trisomy 21 occurs every 1/800 births and is the most frequent genetic cause of mental retardation. Children with trisomy 21 show delayed sensorial and motor development as well as cognitive disorders. We selected a mouse model of trisomy 21 (TRS21): transgenic mice carrying extra copies of a HSA21 region corresponding to the D21S17-ETS2 region (previously referred to as “Down syndrome critical region 1”). Sensorial and motor development was measured in these partially transgenic mice, from birth to weaning. The four HSA21 regions contributed unequally to sensorial and motor development delay. The more centromeric region (230E8) modified 4 of the development indicators plus the size of the effect, indicated by partial g2gp2, reached a median value of 14.5%. The neighboring 141G6 region contributed to 5 developmental differences (gp2 median value 14%). The most telomeric region (285E6) only modified one development indicator. An extra copy of an HSA21 fragment (referred to here as the 152F7 region) induced modifications to 14 of the 18 indicators measured with a g2 median value reaching 20%. The results indicate a noticeable contribution of the 152F7 region to sensorial and motor development. The contribution of this region to cognitive functioning and its neurobiological basis has been already reported. This set of result suggests the location in the D21S17-ETS2 region of several genes playing crucial role in cognitive and developmental impairment observed in TRS21.

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