Ascorbate Treatment Reduces Huntington Disease Symptoms in Mice

Ascorbate treatment ameliorates the symptoms of Huntington disease in mice.

"The R6/2 mouse line expresses exon I of the human gene for Huntington disease (HID) and shows behavioral symptoms as early as six weeks of age," scientists in the United States explained.

"In the striatum, a forebrain target of HD, these animals show a behavior-related deficit in extracellular ascorbate, the deprotonated form of vitamin C," noted G.V. Rebec and colleagues at Indiana University.

The investigators found that "this deficit may contribute to the HID behavioral phenotype," they said. "Regular injections of ascorbate (300 mg/ kg/day, 4 days/week) beginning at symptom onset restored the behavior-related release of ascorbate in striatum and also improved behavioral responding.

"Compared to vehicle, ascorbate treatment significantly attenuated the neurological motor signs of HID without altering overall motor activity," study data showed.

"Ascorbate regulation of striatal function appears key for understanding HD," the researchers concluded.

Rebec and coauthors published their study in Neuroreport (Ascorbate treatment attenuates the Huntington behavioral phenotype in mice. Neuroreport, 2003;14(9):1263-1265).

For additional information, contact G.V. Rebec, Indiana University, Program in Neural Science, 1101 E. 10th St., Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.

The publisher of the journal Neuroreport can be contacted at: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 530 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19106-3621, USA.

The information in this article comes under the major subject areas of Genomics & Genetics, Mental Health and Neuroscience. This article was prepared by Biotech Week editors from staff and other reports.

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