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Disease models

Frog model for scoliosis

A frog model for scoliosis caused by ear damage could be useful for studying the pathophysiology of the disease. Inner ear abnormalities have previously been linked to idiopathic cases of scoliosis. In this model, tadpoles were subjected to unilateral removal of labyrinthine end organs and then raised into adult frogs. The tadpoles showed degeneration of vestibular afferents and loss of vestibulospinal neurons. The frogs that developed from these tadpoles showed postural asymmetry and skeletal distortions similar to those observed in patients with scoliosis. Next steps could include using the model to identify molecules that prevent development of disease pathology.

SciBX 6(17); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.424
Published online May 2, 2013

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Lambert, F.M. et al. J. Neurosci.; published online April 17, 2013;
Contact: Hans Straka, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany