Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mouse models for neural tube closure defects.

Juriloff DM, Harris MJ. Mouse models for neural tube closure defects. Human Molecular Genetics. 2000 Apr 12;9(6):993-1000. Review.

Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, 6174 University Boulevard, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Neural tube closure defects (NTDs), in particular anencephaly and spina bifida, are common human birth defects (1 in 1000), their genetics is complex and their risk is reduced by periconceptional maternal folic acid supplementation. There are > 60 mouse mutants and strains with NTDs, many reported within the past 2 years. Not only are NTD mutations at loci widely heterogeneous in function, but also most of the mutants demonstrate variable low penetrance and some show complex inheritance patterns (e.g. SELH/Bc, Abl / Arg, Mena / Profilin1 ). In most of these mouse models, the NTDs are exencephaly (equivalent to anencephaly) or spina bifida or both, reflecting failure of neural fold elevation in well defined, mechanistically distinct elevation zones. NTD risk is reduced in various models by different maternal nutrient supplements, including folic acid ( Pax3, Cart1, Cd mutants), inositol ( ct ) and methionine ( Axd ). Lack of de novo methylation in embryos ( Dnmt3b -null) leads to NTD risk, and we suggest a potential link between methylation and the observed female excess among cranial NTDs in several models. Some surprising NTD mutants ( Gadd45a, Terc, Trp53 ) suggest that genes with a basic mitotic function also have a function specific to neural fold elevation. The genes mutated in several mouse NTD models involve actin regulation ( Abl/Arg, Macs, Mena/Profilin1, Mlp, Shrm, Vcl ), support the postulated key role of actin in neural fold elevation, and may be a good candidate pathway to search for human NTD genes.

PMID: 10767323

No comments: