Transgenic mouse line L25: a possible new mouse model for motor neuron disease research?

Summary

Research into motor neuron disease, and possible treatments, would benefit from rodent models that more closely mimic the human disease. This project will investigate a transgenic mouse line that might just offer a better model for motor neuron disease.

Supervisor(s)

Associate Professor William (Bill) Phillips, Associate Professor Frank J. Lovicu

Research Location

Camperdown - School of Medical Sciences - Bosch Institute

Program Type

Masters/PHD

Synopsis

Motor neuron disease (MND) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease involving the failure of motor control pathways and the death of motor neurons. Mutations in several genes have been identified as causes of MND in a minority of cases. However, transgenic rat and mouse models based upon these mutations don't adequately mimic the course of the human MND. Better mouse models would facilitate the initial testing of potential treatments for MND. This project will investigate a transgenic mouse line created by Frank Lovicu's team as a result of random insertion of a transgene. The phenotype of the L25 line of mice reveals spasticity, paralysis and premature death. We suspect that the insertion of the transgene may have disrupted an endogenous gene that is needed to sustain motor pathways in mature mice. The aim of the project is to use measures of motor function and CNS histology to find out if the paralysis results from degeneration of the upper and/or lower motor neurons and their connections to muscle. If so, the L25 mouse line might offer a new model for studying the mechanism and treatment of MND.

Additional Information

The lab is located within the Anderson Stuart Building (F13) with the excellent  technical support of the Bosch Institute.

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Keywords

transgenic mice, motor neuron disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, motoneuron disease, motor neurone disease, motor systems, histology, motor function

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 672

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