ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

10 Fibro-Friendly Foods with a Bonus: Beautiful Skin

Studies Show that Magnesium L-threonate Improves Brain Plasticity, Leading to Direct and Significant...

Clary Sage Oil May Be Pricey, but Its Benefits Are Priceless

Pumpkin Pie Turmeric Breakfast Smoothie - Vegan + Gluten-Free

Component of red wine, grapes can help to reduce inflammation, study finds

Poly MVA: A Novel Therapy for Increasing Energy, Repairing DNA, and Promoting Overall Health

Vitamin D supplementation extends life in mouse model of Huntington's disease

Omega-3 fatty acid stops known trigger of lupus

Conquer Your Email Inbox, Increase Productivity and Reduce Stress

The Significance of Selenium

Print Page
Email Article

Mice with Mahogany Coats and Spongy Brains Could be Models for Brain Diseases

  [ 12 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • February 3, 2003

Some mice with a genetic mutation for mahogany-colored coats also develop spongiform degeneration of brain tissue, similar to mad cow disease. Because of this oddity, the mice could be valuable animal models for human disorders, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, according to geneticists at Cornell and Stanford universities.

The surprising discovery in a mouse strain known to geneticists since the 1960s is reported in the latest issue of the journal Science (Jan. 31, 2003) by Teresa M. Gunn, Gregory S. Barsh and their collaborators as "Spongiform Degeneration in mahoganoid Mutant Mice."

"Just don't call them mad mice," pleads Gunn, an assistant professor of genetics in Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine who began the research in Barsh's laboratory at Stanford. "We do see the same kind of tissue degeneration -- with fluid-filled vacuoles, or holes, where the gray matter should be -- in BSE cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy and in these mutant mice. But the mice don't have the same motor coordination problems as mad cows, and the condition is not lethal."

Rather, the mutant mice exhibit little more than a slight tremor when they begin to move, they live a normal life span for their species and are able to reproduce, Gunn says. Nor did the investigators find evidence of misshapen prion proteins (the cause of spongiform encephalopathies such as mad cow and mad elk diseases) in the mice, although they did see damage to the myelin sheaths around nerve cells. Among other distinguishing characteristics of the mutant mice are curly whiskers and slightly curly body hair, as well as the habit of clasping their hind feet together when lifted off the ground. Normal mice tend to splay their legs straight out when they are elevated, Gunn explains.

Furthermore, this form of neurodegeneration is not known to be contagious, Gunn says, noting: "A cat that eats a mahoganoid mutant mouse -- should one escape from the laboratory -- would not get spongiform encephalopathy."

The researchers were looking for effects that might be linked to mutations in pigmentation genes. They knew that a loss of function in the so-called Mahogunin gene causes a partial reduction in the amount of yellow pigment, so that the mice were left with only small patches of yellow hair on mostly black bodies. But they were surprised to learn that a complete loss of function in that gene produced all-black mice with brain neurodegeneration. Linkages between unusual pigmentation and neural defects are not unheard of in the animal world, Gunn adds, citing predominantly white dogs, such as Dalmatians, that sometimes are deaf.

As an animal model, the mahoganoid mutant mice probably will not be useful to study spongiform encephalopathies like mad cow disease, Gunn believes, because rogue prions are not the cause of the mouse condition. But as an example of defective ubiquitination -- a protein-related process involved in many neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases -- the mahogany-colored mice with spongy brains could have real value, according to the Cornell scientist.

And the mutant mouse probably isn't patentable because it has a naturally occurring defect that the researchers did not create and because the mice already are commercially available. However, Gunn suggests, further work with the gene responsible for the neurodegenerative condition might result in patent applications.

Gunn credits Cornell undergraduate student Aaron F. Jolly for his research assistance in the study. Jolly is one of eight co-authors of the Science report. The study was supported, in part, by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association.

Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Ultra ATP+, Double Strength

Looking for Vitamins, Herbs and Supplements?
Search the ProHealth Store for Hundreds of Natural Health Products

Article Comments

Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment

Natural Pain Relief Supplements

Featured Products

Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Optimized Curcumin Longvida®
Supports Cognition, Memory & Overall Health
Ultra ATP+, Double Strength Ultra ATP+, Double Strength
Get energized with malic acid & magnesium
Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Energy NADH™ 12.5mg
Improve Energy & Cognitive Function
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®
Reduce Fatigue up to 45%

Natural Remedies

Eating Fat is Good... Maybe... Could Be... Sometimes Eating Fat is Good... Maybe... Could Be... Sometimes
Vitamin E: Super Antioxidant We Only Thought We Knew Vitamin E: Super Antioxidant We Only Thought We Knew
Undenatured Type II Collagen - Chicken Soup for Your Joints Undenatured Type II Collagen - Chicken Soup for Your Joints
Aching Muscles? Top 10 Nutrients to Take Back Your Life Aching Muscles? Top 10 Nutrients to Take Back Your Life
Stop Bacteria With Nature's Antibiotics Stop Bacteria With Nature's Antibiotics

ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
Credit Card Processing
Be the first to know about new products, special discounts and the latest health news. *New subscribers only

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2016 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map