Assessing disease onset and progression in the SOD1 mouse model of ALS

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SOD1 transgenic mice are the most widely used animal model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In addition to providing valuable insights into the pathogenesis of ALS, these animals are used intensively in many laboratories as an in vivomodel for investigating novel therapeutic interventions towards this devastating motorneuron disease. Such pre-clinical studies require objective and reliable quantification of the clinical phenotype of individual mice, most importantly of the neuromuscular abnormalities. Here we compare four parameters of the clinical phenotype: motor signs, body weight, rotarod performance and paw grip endurance for their usefulness in monitoring the SOD1 mouse model. We found that paw grip endurance is a sensitive and inexpensive alternative to the widely used rotarod test.

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