Trisomy for the Down Syndrome 'Critical Region' is Necessary But Not Sufficient for Brain Phenotypes of Trisomic Mice
Trisomic Ts65Dn mice show direct parallels with many phenotypes of Down syndrome (DS), including effects on the structure of cerebellum and hippocampus. A small segment of Hsa21 known as the ‘DS critical region’ (DSCR) has been held to contain a gene or genes sufficient to cause impairment in learning and memory tasks involving the hippocampus. To test this hypothesis, we developed Ts1Rhr and Ms1Rhr mouse models that are, respectively, trisomic and monosomic for this region. Here, we show that trisomy for the DSCR alone is not sufficient to produce the structural and functional features of hippocampal impairment that are seen in the Ts65Dn mouse and DS. However, when the critical region is returned to normal dosage in trisomic Ms1Rhr/Ts65Dn mice, performance in the Morris water maze is identical to euploid, demonstrating that this region is necessary for the phenotype. Thus, although the prediction of the critical region hypothesis was disproved, novel gene dosage effects were identified, which help to define how trisomy for this segment of the chromosome contributes to phenotypes of DS.
Human Molecular Genetics
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