Purkinje cell dysfunction and loss in a knock-in mouse model of Huntington Disease

S. E. Dougherty, J. L. Reeves, M. Lesort, P. J. Detloff, R. M. Cowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Huntington Disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurological disorder characterized by motor, psychiatric and cognitive disturbances. Recent evidence indicates that the viability and function of cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) are compromised in an aggressive mouse model of HD. Here we investigate whether this is also the case in the HdhQ200 knock-in mouse model of HD. Using quantitative-real time-PCR and immunofluorescence, we observed a loss of the PC marker and calcium buffer calbindin in 50. week-old symptomatic mice. Reductions were also observed in parvalbumin and glutamic acid decarboxylase protein expression, most markedly in the molecular cell layer. Stereological analysis revealed an overall reduction in the PC population in HdhQ200/Q200 mice by nearly 40%, and loose patch electrophysiology of remaining PCs indicated a reduction in firing rate in HD mice compared to control littermates. Taken together, these data demonstrate that PC survival and function are compromised in a mouse model of adult-onset HD and suggest that further experiments should investigate the contribution of PC death and dysfunction to HD-associated motor impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-102
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Calbindin (CALB)
  • Cerebellum
  • Gene expression
  • Glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67)
  • Loose patch electrophysiology
  • Parvalbumin (PV)
  • Stereology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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