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Early-onset behavioral and neurochemical deficits in the genetic mouse model of phenylketonuria

Fiori, E., Oddi, D., Ventura, R., Colamartino, M., Valzania, A., D'Amato, F. R., Bruinenberg, V., van der Zee, E., Puglisi-Allegra, S. & Pascucci, T. 29-Aug-2017 In : Plos one. 12, 8, 16 p., 0183430

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

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DOI

  • Elena Fiori
  • Diego Oddi
  • Rossella Ventura
  • Marco Colamartino
  • Alessandro Valzania
  • Francesca Romana D'Amato
  • Vibeke Bruinenberg
  • Eddy van der Zee
  • Stefano Puglisi-Allegra
  • Tiziana Pascucci

Phenylketonuria (PKU) is one of the most common human inborn errors of metabolism, caused by phenylalanine hydroxylase deficiency, leading to high phenylalanine and low tyrosine levels in blood and brain causing profound cognitive disability, if untreated. Since 1960, population is screened for hyperphenylalaninemia shortly after birth and submitted to early treatment in order to prevent the major manifestations of the disease. However, the dietetic regimen (phenylalanine free diet) is difficult to maintain, and despite the recommendation to a strict and lifelong compliance, up to 60% of adolescents partially or totally abandons the treatment. The development and the study of new treatments continue to be sought, taking advantage of preclinical models, the most used of which is the PAH(enu2) (BTBR ENU2), the genetic murine model of PKU. To date, adult behavioral and neurochemical alterations have been mainly investigated in ENU2 mice, whereas there are no clear indications about the onset of these deficiencies. Here we investigated and report, for the first time, a comprehensive behavioral and neurochemical assay of the developing ENU2 mice. Overall, our findings demonstrate that ENU2 mice are significantly smaller than WT until pnd 24, present a significant delay in the acquisition of tested developmental reflexes, impaired communicative, motor and social skills, and have early reduced biogenic amine levels in several brain areas. Our results extend the understanding of behavioral and cerebral abnormalities in PKU mice, providing instruments to an early preclinical evaluation of the effects of new treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0183430
Number of pages16
JournalPlos one
Volume12
Issue number8
StatePublished - 29-Aug-2017

    Keywords

  • GLUTAMATERGIC SYNAPTIC-TRANSMISSION, TREATED PHENYLKETONURIA, SOMATOSENSORY CORTEX, COGNITIVE DEFICITS, MENTAL-RETARDATION, PREFRONTAL CORTEX, BRAIN, SEROTONIN, MICE, PKU

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