Core features of frontotemporal dementia recapitulated in progranulin knockout mice.

Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
Neurobiology of Disease (Impact Factor: 5.2). 09/2011; 45(1):395-408. DOI: 10.1016/j.nbd.2011.08.029
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is typified by behavioral and cognitive changes manifested as altered social comportment and impaired memory performance. To investigate the neurodegenerative consequences of progranulin gene (GRN) mutations, which cause an inherited form of FTD, we used previously generated progranulin knockout mice (Grn-/-). Specifically, we characterized two cohorts of early and later middle-aged wild type and knockout mice using a battery of tests to assess neurological integrity and behavioral phenotypes analogous to FTD. The Grn-/- mice exhibited reduced social engagement and learning and memory deficits. Immunohistochemical approaches were used to demonstrate the presence of lesions characteristic of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with GRN mutation including ubiquitination, microgliosis, and reactive astrocytosis, the pathological substrate of FTD. Importantly, Grn-/- mice also have decreased overall survival compared to Grn+/+ mice. These data suggest that the Grn-/- mouse reproduces some core features of FTD with respect to behavior, pathology, and survival. This murine model may serve as a valuable in vivo model of FTLD with GRN mutation through which molecular mechanisms underlying the disease can be further dissected.

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