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Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by an abnormal expansion of CAG repeats in the gene encoding huntingtin. The development of therapies for HD requires preclinical testing of drugs in animal models that reproduce the dysfunction and regionally specific pathology observed in HD. We have developed a new knock-in mouse model of HD with a chimeric mouse/human(More)
Loss-of-function mutations in parkin are the major cause of early-onset familial Parkinson's disease. To investigate the pathogenic mechanism by which loss of parkin function causes Parkinson's disease, we generated a mouse model bearing a germline disruption in parkin. Parkin-/- mice are viable and exhibit grossly normal brain morphology. Quantitative in(More)
Accumulation of alpha-synuclein in brain is a hallmark of synucleinopathies, neurodegenerative diseases that include Parkinson's disease. Mice overexpressing alpha-synuclein under the Thy-1 promoter (ASO) show abnormal accumulation of alpha-synuclein in cortical and subcortical regions of the brain, including the substantia nigra. We examined the motor(More)
The ability of the adult brain to form new connections in areas denervated by a lesion (axonal sprouting) is more widespread than previously thought, but mechanisms remain unknown. We have previously demonstrated an unexpected, robust axonal sprouting of contralateral corticostriatal neurons into the denervated striatum after ischemic cortical lesions. We(More)
The central dogma of mammalian brain sexual differentiation has contended that sex steroids of gonadal origin organize the neural circuits of the developing brain. Recent evidence has begun to challenge this idea and has suggested that, independent of the masculinizing effects of gonadal secretions, XY and XX brain cells have different patterns of gene(More)
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder whose etiology is not understood. This disease occurs both sporadically and through inheritance of single genes, although the familial types are rare. Over the past decade or so, experimental and clinical data suggest that PD could be a multifactorial, neurodegenerative disease that(More)
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by a loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. There is a need for genetic animal models of PD for screening and in vivo testing of novel restorative therapeutic agents. Although current genetic models of PD produce behavioral impairment and nigrostriatal dysfunction, they do(More)
Accumulation of alpha-synuclein in neurons of the central and peripheral nervous system is a hallmark of sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD) and mutations that increase alpha-synuclein levels cause familial PD. Transgenic mice overexpressing alpha-synuclein under the Thy1 promoter (Thy1-aSyn) have high levels of alpha-synuclein expression throughout the brain(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) is characterized by a progressive loss of neurons in the striatum and cerebral cortex and is caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the gene encoding huntingtin. Mice with the mutation inserted into their own huntingtin gene (knock-in mice) are, genetically, the best models of the human disease. Here we show for the first time that(More)
Lineage uncommitted pluripotent stem cells reside in the connective tissue of skeletal muscle. The present study was carried out with pluripotent stem cells (PPSCs) isolated from 6-month old rat muscle. Before differentiation, these cells were vimentin+, CD90+, CD45-, and varied in their expression of CD34. The PPSCs were expanded as non-adherent aggregates(More)