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Behavioural profiling of a murine Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease type 1A model


: Dr J. C. Norreel, as above.


Different features of motor behaviour were studied on a transgenic mouse model of Charcot–Marie–Tooth's disease (CMT). Mutants with 4 or 7 copies of the human PMP22 gene leading to a phenotype significantly close to CMT's disease type 1A were compared with control animals. The aim of the study was to validate this transgenic model and to characterise the impairments occurring in the various lines. Three main types of analysis were performed in 2-month-old mice without any peculiar visible deficit: (i) a study of standardised clinical tests (SHIRPA protocol) demonstrated that only a few motor deficits were expressed; (ii) a measurement of general spontaneous activity by means of a commercial video-tracking system was performed and revealed that the main spontaneous activities were identical in the three lines with, however, some slight localised modifications; and, (iii) by contrast, the three lines respond very differently to the footprints, grip strength, splay test and rotarod test. Even in lines with a significantly limited copy number of the transgene, we observed and quantified impairments. In conclusion, mutants of CMT1A seem to be a very pertinent model of this human pathology and will certainly be useful for therapeutic procedures and for theoretical studies on this disease.