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Mouse models of epilepsy and anxiety

A study in mice suggests neuron type-specific perturbation of glycine receptor α3 (GLRA3) could help model epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disease. RNA editing can lead to a gain-of-function mutation in GLRA3 that is associated with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy. Mice expressing a transgenic, gain-of-function Glra3 variant in glutamatergic neurons showed signs of epilepsy including elevated electrophysiological activity and defects in memory and cognitive function. Mice expressing transgenic, gain-of-function Glra3 in interneurons of inhibitory circuits had greater anxiety but normal cognition compared with controls not expressing the transgene. Next steps include testing glycine receptor-modulating compounds in these transgenic mice.

SciBX 7(6); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.184
Published online Feb. 13, 2014

Unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Winkelmann, A. et al. J. Clin. Invest.; published online Jan. 16, 2014;
Contact: Jochen C. Meier, Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany