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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mouse models of spike-wave epilepsy.

The mouse is a well-established model for human genetic disorders. An increasing number of single-gene human diseases are being elucidated through the use of mouse models. Recently genes for three of the six well-characterised single locus models for human spike-wave epilepsy have been isolated and published. The tottering mouse has been shown to be due to mutations in the gene encoding the high voltage-activated alpha1A calcium channel subunit. The lethargic mouse has been shown to be due to mutations in the gene encoding another calcium channel subunit, beta4. The slow-wave epilepsy mouse phenotype is the result of loss of function of the ubiquitous sodium hydrogen exchanger NHEI. These genes and the pathways they are involved in are now candidates for human spike-wave epilepsy. The six mouse models and those genes underlying the spike-wave phenotype are discussed in conjunction with how these mutations were discovered and how they may give rise to the seizure phenotypes. Several nonepilepsy human neurologic disorders have been shown to be allelic with the tottering mouse. The question this raises as to the validity of these models for human spike-wave epilepsy is considered. Finally, the effect these discoveries will have on the understanding and treatment of human spike-wave epilepsy are discussed.[1]


  1. Mouse models of spike-wave epilepsy. Barclay, J., Rees, M. Epilepsia (1999) [Pubmed]
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