International Mammalian Genome Society

The 15th International Mouse Genome Conference (2001)


POSTER 167 - GENOTYPING METHODS FOR A UNIQUE NEUROPROTECTIVE FACTOR FOR AXON (Wlds)

Ms Weiqian Mi
Institute for Genetics
University of Cologne
Zuelpicher strasse 47
Cologne
50674
Germany

Co-Authors: Conforti L, Coleman MP
Institutions: Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne

The slow Wallerian degeneration mouse, C57BL/Wlds, carries a dominant mutation that delays Wallerian degeneration in the distal stump of an injured axon. The protective gene has been identified (see accompanying abstract by Coleman et al) and it is important now to determine whether it also protects axons in neurological disease. In principle, this can be done by crossing Wlds to neurological mutant mice, but first a method is needed to track the inheritance of the Wlds allele.  Previously, inheritance of Wlds has been ascertained only by testing phenotype after nerve lesion. We have developed three molecular methods to identify the Wlds genotype. PCR, Southern blotting and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) were used to distinguish Wlds from wild type mice and, where possible, Wlds heterozygotes from Wlds homozygotes. The relative merits of these three methods for genotyping of Wlds are discussed. The possibility of Wlds preventing axon degeneration in diverse inherited pathologies and its effect on the symptoms can now be investigated. Recent data using these genotyping methods indicate that the Wld gene can alleviate inherited neuropathy and improve motor neuron survival and life-span in mice.


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