Development of the paramedian lobule of the cerebellum in wild-type and tottering mice.
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The mutant mouse tottering, (tg/tg), and the compound heterozygote mouse (tg/tg1a) exhibit three neurological disorders: ataxia, petit mal-like absence seizures and myoclonic intermittent movement disorders which are independent of the absence seizures. The tottering mouse carries an autosomal recessive single gene mutation on chromosome 8, and behavioral symptoms are first observed in the 3rd to 4th week of age. Using an additional genetic marker, Oligosyndactyly (Os), it is possible to distinguish tg/tg and tg/tg1a mice from wild-type mice at birth; nonaffected heterozygous littermates carry the Os mutation while tottering and compound heterozygous mice do not carry the Os gene. Similar to neurons found elsewhere in the brain, cerebellar Purkinje cells in both the wild-type and mutant mice were found to decrease in diameter with maturation. Forebrain weight, hindbrain weight, Purkinje cell dimensions and the thickness of the molecular layer in the paramedian lobule of the cerebellum in mutant mice were found to be reduced in mutants after, but not prior to the onset of behavioral symptoms.