New transgenic rat model of ALS expands research possibilities

A team of scientists led by drug maker Wyeth-Ayerst and Johns Hopkins have engineered and tested a new rat model of Lou Gehrig's disease they say is far easier to work with than earlier mouse models.

Because of their larger size, the rats should expedite evaluation of novel treatments, such as those using stem cells, as well as deepen understanding of the fatal disease also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the scientists say. The "transgenic" rat, which carries a human gene, already has revealed the important role played by brain cells called astrocytes, a role obscured in mice.

The ALS rat, believed to be the first transgenic rat model of a neurodegenerative disease, moves from onset of symptoms through to ALS-like disability more quickly than ALS mice, making changes in cells in the rats more striking from day to day, the scientists report in the Jan. 29 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"The transgenic rats are a powerful tool," says neurologist Jeffrey Rothstein, M.D., director of the Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins and an author of the report. "Mice are just too small, for example, for reliable infusions into their spinal cords, the direction research on stem cell treatment is heading."

Scientists at Wyeth-Ayerst engineered the rats to carry an abnormal human gene for superoxide dismutase (SOD1), an enzyme that normally breaks down free radicals, highly reactive molecules that quickly damage DNA and kill cells. Faulty SOD1 behavior, caused by a number of different genetic mutations, is at the root of roughly one-fifth of inherited ALS cases.

The SOD1 rats, like the SOD1 mice before them, develop a disease very similar to ALS in humans, which is characterized by the death of motor nerve cells throughout the central nervous system. The rats are "symptom-free" for a longer time, but then deteriorate much more rapidly than the mice.

While the faster disease

Contact: Joanna Downer
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Inhibition of cathepsin proteases inhibits tumor formation in transgenic mice
2. UGA researchers use transgenic trees to help clean up toxic waste site
3. Could Bt transgenic crops have nutritionally favourable effects on insects?
4. Scientists transgenic chicken aids embryo research
5. Scientists report first transgenic animal developed via retroviral DNA insertion into male germ-line stem cells
6. Eating transgenic sausages
7. Dairy scientist advances field of transgenics and knowledge of growth hormones
8. Scientists develop most efficient mouse cloning strategy to date, create transgenic clone
9. New transgenic mouse likely to advance Alzheimers disease research
10. University of Florida researchers test drug from transgenic sheep in study at Shands at UF teaching hospital
11. Jefferson scientists create first transgenic mouse model of hepatitis B-based liver disease

Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/29/2015)... ARBOR, Mich. , Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Eurofins Genomics for U.S. distribution of its DNA ... DNA-seq kit and Rubicon,s new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ... to enable the preparation of NGS libraries for ... plasma for diagnostic and prognostic applications in cancer ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015 Today, LifeBEAM , a ... 2XU, a global leader in technical performance sports ... with advanced bio-sensing technology. The hat will allow ... key biometrics to improve overall training performance. As ... will bring together the most advanced technology, extensive ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... Oct. 27, 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ... that Google has adopted the Synaptics ® ClearPad ... to power its newest flagship smartphones, the Nexus 5X ... --> --> Synaptics ... provide strategic collaboration in the joint development of next ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 ... Research Report is a professional and in-depth study ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141014/710132 ) , ... of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and ... provided for the international markets including development trends, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO ... New York on Wednesday, December 2 at ... , president and CEO, will provide a corporate overview. ... at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT . ... will provide a corporate overview. --> th Annual ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research services headquartered in ... has set a new quarterly earnings record in Q3 of 2015.  ... Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015.   ... the establishment of an Asia-Pacific office to ... and Mexico , with the establishment ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 --> ... report released by Transparency Market Research, the global non-invasive ... CAGR of 17.5% during the period between 2014 and ... Global Industry Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends and ... testing market to reach a valuation of US$2.38 bn ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: