Spontaneous neurodegeneration in transgenic mice with mutant prion protein

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Science  14 Dec 1990:
Vol. 250, Issue 4987, pp. 1587-1590
DOI: 10.1126/science.1980379


Transgenic mice were created to assess genetic linkage between Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome and a leucine substitution at codon 102 of the human prion protein gene. Spontaneous neurologic disease with spongiform degeneration and gliosis similar to that in mouse scrapie developed at a mean age of 166 days in 35 mice expressing mouse prion protein with the leucine substitution. Thus, many of the clinical and pathological features of Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome are reproduced in transgenic mice containing a prion protein with a single amino acid substitution, illustrating that a neurodegenerative process similar to a human disease can be genetically modeled in animals.

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