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Lack of spontaneous age-related brain pathology in Octodon degus: a reappraisal of the model

Abstract : Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the degeneration of specific brain areas associated with accumulation of disease-related protein in extra- or intra-cellular deposits. Their preclinical investigations are mostly based on genetically-engineered animals. Despite their interest, these models are often based on high level of disease-related protein expression, thus questioning their relevance to human pathology and calling for the alternate use of ecological models. In the past few years, Octodon degus has emerged as a promising animal model displaying age-dependent Alzheimer's disease-related pathology. As neurodegenerative-related proteins often co-deposit in the brain of patients, we assessed the occurrence of α-synuclein-related pathology in this model using state-of-the-art immunohistochemistry and biochemistry. Despite our efforts and in contrast with previously published results, our study argues against the use of Octodon degus as a suitable natural model of neurodegenerative disorder as we failed to identify either Parkinson's disease- or Alzheimer's disease-related brain pathologies.
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Mathieu Bourdenx, Sandra Dovero, Marie-Laure Thiolat, Erwan Bézard, Benjamin Dehay. Lack of spontaneous age-related brain pathology in Octodon degus: a reappraisal of the model. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 7, pp.45831. ⟨10.1038/srep45831⟩. ⟨inserm-02439433⟩



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