Mutations in the ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T)-mutated (ATM) gene give rise to the human genetic disorder A-T, characterized by immunodeficiency, cancer predisposition, and neurodegeneration. Whereas a series of animal models recapitulate much of the A-T phenotype, they fail to present with ataxia or neurodegeneration. We describe here the generation of an Atm missense mutant [amino acid change of leucine (L) to proline (P) at position 2262 (L2262P)] rat by intracytoplasmic injection (ICSI) of mutant sperm into oocytes. Atm-mutant rats (AtmL2262P/L2262P) expressed low levels of ATM protein, suggesting a destabilizing effect of the mutation, and had a significantly reduced lifespan compared with Atm+/+. Whereas these rats did not show cerebellar atrophy, they succumbed to hind-limb paralysis (45%), and the remainder developed tumors. Closer examination revealed the presence of both dsDNA and ssDNA in the cytoplasm of cells in the hippocampus, cerebellum, and spinal cord of AtmL2262P/L2262P rats. Significantly increased levels of IFN-β and IL-1β in all 3 tissues were indicative of DNA damage induction of the type 1 IFN response. This was further supported by NF-κB activation, as evidenced by p65 phosphorylation (P65) and translocation to the nucleus in the spinal cord and para-hippocampus. Other evidence of neuroinflammation in the brain and spinal cord was the loss of motor neurons and the presence of increased activation of microglia. These data provide support for a proinflammatory phenotype that is manifested in the Atm mutant rat as hind-limb paralysis. This mutant represents a useful model to investigate the importance of neuroinflammation in A-T.
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Journal of Leukocyte Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2017|