Michael P. McDonald

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Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff diseases are clinically similar neurodegenerative disorders. These two sphingolipidoses are characterized by a heritable absence of beta-hexosaminidase A resulting in defective GM2 ganglioside degradation. Through disruption of the Hexa and Hexb genes in embryonic stem cells, we have established mouse models corresponding to each(More)
We have recently disrupted Slc12a2, the gene encoding the secretory Na-K-2Cl cotransporter in mice (NKCC1) (Delpire et al., 1999). Gramicidin perforated-patch and whole-cell recordings were performed to study GABA-induced currents in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons isolated from wild-type and homozygote NKCC1 knock-out mice. In wild-type DRG neurons,(More)
Mice completely deficient for Dvl1, one of three mouse homologs of the Drosophila segment polarity gene Dishevelled, were created by gene targeting. Dvl1-deficient mice are viable, fertile, and structurally normal. Surprisingly, these mice exhibited reduced social interaction, including differences in whisker trimming, deficits in nest-building, less(More)
Inherited defects in the degradation of glycosphingolipids (GSLs) cause a group of severe diseases known as GSL storage disorders. There are currently no effective treatments for the majority of these disorders. We have explored a new treatment paradigm, substrate deprivation therapy, by constructing a genetic model in mice. Sandhoff's disease mice, which(More)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed childhood psychiatric disorder. We have found that a transgenic mouse bearing a human mutant thyroid receptor (TRbeta1) expresses all of the defining symptoms of ADHD--inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity--as well as a 'paradoxical' response to methylphenidate (MPH). As(More)
Recent studies have revealed that disruption of vitamin A signaling observed in Alzheimer's disease (AD) leads to beta-amyloid (Abeta) accumulation and memory deficits in rodents. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the therapeutic effect of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), an active metabolite of vitamin A, on the neuropathology and deficits of(More)
Cholinergic neurons elaborate a hemicholinium-3 (HC-3) sensitive choline transporter (CHT) that mediates presynaptic, high-affinity choline uptake (HACU) in support of acetylcholine (ACh) synthesis and release. Homozygous deletion of CHT (-/-) is lethal shortly after birth (Ferguson et al. 2004), consistent with CHT as an essential component of cholinergic(More)
Gangliosides are expressed in the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane of the cells of all vertebrates and are particularly abundant in the nervous system. Ganglioside metabolism is closely associated with the pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD, the most common form of dementia, is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain characterized(More)
Gangliosides have been shown to be necessary for beta-amyloid (Abeta) binding and aggregation. GD3 synthase (GD3S) is responsible for biosynthesis of the b- and c-series gangliosides, including two of the four major brain gangliosides. We examined Abeta-ganglioside interactions in neural tissue from mice lacking the gene coding for GD3S (St8sia1), and in a(More)
The GM2 gangliosidoses, Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff diseases, are caused by mutations in the HEXA (alpha-subunit) and HEXB (beta-subunit) genes, respectively. Each gene encodes a subunit for the heterodimeric lysosomal enzyme, beta-hexosaminidase A (alpha beta), as well as for the homodimers beta-hexosaminidase B (beta beta) and S (alpha alpha). In this study,(More)