Rescue of the acetylcholinesterase knockout mouse by feeding a liquid diet; phenotype of the adult acetylcholinesterase deficient mouse

Ellen G. Duysen, Judith A. Stribley, Debra L. Fry, Steven H. Hinrichs, Oksana Lockridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations

Abstract

Acetylcholinesterase (AChE, EC3.1.1.7) functions in nerve impulse transmission, and possibly as a cell adhesion factor during neurite outgrowth. These functions predicted that a mouse with zero AChE activity would be unable to live. It was a surprise to find that AChE -/- mice were born alive and survived an average of 14 days. The emaciated appearance of AChE -/- mice suggested an inability to obtain sufficient nutrition and experiments were undertaken to increase caloric intake. Pregnant and lactating dams (+/-) were fed 11% high fat chow supplemented with liquid Ensure®. AChE -/- pups were weaned early, on day 15, and fed liquid Ensure. Although nullizygous animals showed slow but steady weight gain with survival over 1 year (average 100 days), they remained small at all ages compared to littermates. They demonstrated delays in temperature regulation (day 22 vs. 15), eye opening (day 13 vs. 12), righting reflex (day 18 vs. 12), descent of testes (week 7-8 vs. 4), and estrous (week 15-16 vs. 6-7). Significant physical findings in adult AChE -/- mice included body tremors, abnormal gait and posture, absent grip strength, inability to eat solid food, pinpoint pupils, decreased pain response, vocalization, and early death caused by seizures or gastrointestinal tract ileus. Behavioral deficits included urination and defecation in the nest, lack of aggression, reduced pain perception, and sexual dysfunction. These findings support the classical role for AChE in nerve impulse conduction and further suggest that AChE is essential for timely physical development and higher brain function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-54
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Volume137
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 30 2002

Keywords

  • Acetylcholinesterase depletion
  • Gene targeting
  • Postnatal development
  • Under-nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Rescue of the acetylcholinesterase knockout mouse by feeding a liquid diet; phenotype of the adult acetylcholinesterase deficient mouse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this