Progressive spatial processing deficits in a mouse model of the fragile X premutation.

Program in Neuroscience, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
Behavioral Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 3.25). 12/2009; 123(6):1315-24. DOI: 10.1037/a0017616
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fragile X associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is a neurodegenerative disorder that is the result of a CGG trinucleotide repeat expansion in the range of 55-200 in the 5' UTR of the FMR1 gene. To better understand the progression of this disorder, a knock-in (CGG KI) mouse was developed by substituting the mouse CGG8 trinucleotide repeat with an expanded CGG98 repeat from human origin. It has been shown that this mouse shows deficits on the water maze at 52 weeks of age. In the present study, this CGG KI mouse model of FXTAS was tested on behavioral tasks that emphasize spatial information processing. The results demonstrate that at 12 and 24 weeks of age, CGG KI mice were unable to detect a change in the distance between two objects (metric task), but showed intact detection of a transposition of the objects (topological task). At 48 weeks of age, CGG KI mice were unable to detect either change in object location. These data indicate that hippocampal-dependent impairments in spatial processing may occur prior to parietal cortex-dependent impairments in FXTAS.


Available from: Robert F Berman, Jun 11, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Background Fragile X premutation carriers (fXPCs) have an expansion of 55–200 CGG repeats in the FMR1 gene. Male fXPCs are at risk for developing a neurodegenerative motor disorder (fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS)) often accompanied by cognitive decline. Several broad domains are implicated as core systems of dysfunction in fXPCs, including perceptual processing of spatial information, orienting of attention to space, and inhibiting attention to irrelevant distractors. We tested whether orienting of spatial attention is impaired in fXPCs. Methods Participants were fXPCs or healthy controls (HCs) asymptomatic for FXTAS. In experiment 1, they were male and female children and adults (aged 7–45 years). They oriented attention in response to volitional (endogenous) and reflexive (exogenous) cues. In experiment 2, the participants were men (aged 18–48 years). They oriented attention in an endogenous cueing task that manipulated the amount of information in the cue. Results In women, fXPCs exhibited slower reaction times than HCs in both the endogenous and exogenous conditions. In men, fXPCs exhibited slower reaction times than HCs in the exogenous condition and in the challenging endogenous cueing task with probabilistic cues. In children, fXPCs did not differ from HCs. Conclusions Because adult fXPCs were slower even when controlling for psychomotor speed, results support the interpretation that a core dysfunction in fXPCs is the allocation of spatial attention, while perceptual processing and attention orienting are intact. These findings indicate the importance of considering age and sex when interpreting and generalizing studies of fXPCs.
    Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders 12/2014; 2014(6):1. DOI:10.1186/1866-1955-6-45 · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of mutant mouse models of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disease is essential in order to understand the pathogenesis of many genetic diseases such as fragile X syndrome and fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). The choice of which animal model is most suitable to mimic a particular disease depends on a range of factors, including anatomical, physiological, and pathological similarities; presence of orthologs of genes of interest; and conservation of basic cell biological and metabolic processes. In this chapter, we will discuss two mouse models of the fragile X premutation which have been generated to study the pathogenesis of FXTAS and the effects of potential therapeutic interventions. Behavioral, molecular, neuropathological, and endocrine features of the mouse models and their relation to human FXTAS are discussed.
    Results and problems in cell differentiation 01/2012; 54:255-69. DOI:10.1007/978-3-642-21649-7_14
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    ABSTRACT: Male premutation carriers presenting between 55-200 CGG repeats in the Fragile-X-associated (FMR1) gene are at risk of developing Fragile X Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS), and females undergo Premature Ovarian Failure (POF1). Here, we have evaluated gene expression profiles from blood in male FMR1 premutation carriers and detected a strong deregulation of genes enriched in FXTAS relevant biological pathways, including inflammation, neuronal homeostasis and viability. Gene expression profiling distinguished between control individuals, carriers with FXTAS and carriers without FXTAS, with levels of expanded FMR1 mRNA being increased in FXTAS patients. In vitro studies in a neuronal cell model indicate that expression levels of expanded FMR1 5'- UTR are relevant in modulating the transcriptome. Thus, perturbations of the transcriptome may be an interplay between the CGG expansion size and FMR1 expression levels. Several deregulated genes (DFFA, BCL2L11, BCL2L1, APP, SOD1, RNF10, HDAC5, KCNC3, ATXN7, ATXN3 and EAP1) were validated in brain samples of a FXTAS mouse model. Downregulation of EAP1, a gene involved in the female reproductive system physiology, was confirmed in female carriers. Decreased levels were detected in female carriers with POF1 compared to those without POF1, suggesting that EAP1 levels contribute to ovarian insufficiency. In summary, gene expression profiling in blood has uncovered mechanisms that may underlie different pathological aspects of the premutation. A better understanding of the transcriptome dynamics in relation with expanded FMR1 mRNA expression levels and CGG expansion size may provide mechanistic insights into the disease process and a more accurate FXTAS diagnosis to the myriad of phenotypes associated with the premutation.
    Neurobiology of Disease 01/2014; 65. DOI:10.1016/j.nbd.2013.12.020 · 5.20 Impact Factor