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Researchers develop first transgenic monkey model of Huntington's disease
Date:5/18/2008

the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and other components of Emory University in Atlanta. The research was supported by the NCRR and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at NIH.

The Emory research team developed this transgenic monkey model by introducing altered forms of the Huntington gene into monkey eggs using a viral vector. The eggs were fertilized and the resulting embryos were introduced into surrogate mothers, resulting in five live births. The investigators are now studying the onset of the disease and its behavioral and cognitive effects, with the goal of using the monkey model to better understand disease mechanisms and to design therapies.

Genetic advances make it easy to identify who has inherited the disease gene, said Walter Koroshetz, M.D., deputy director of the NINDS. Now, with a primate model of Huntingtons disease, we are one large step closer to finding better treatments for people with the disease as well as those destined to develop it.

The Yerkes primate center where this advance was made is one of eight supported by NCRR. The centers provide leadership, training and resources to foster scientific discovery and compassionate, quality animal care. Last year, the eight centers located around the country supported more than 2,000 researchers studying a wide range of diseases using non human primate models.

Yerkes primate center is an ideal place to carry out this work because of its expertise in nonhuman primate transgenesis, non-invasive neural imaging, and experience with behavior assessment, said Dr. Harding.


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Contact: Joyce McDonald
info@ncrr.nih.gov
301-435-0888
NIH/National Center for Research Resources
Source:Eurekalert

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