CLN3-Batten disease is a rare, autosomal recessive disorder involving seizures, visual, motor and cognitive decline, and premature death. The Cln3Δ ex7/8 mouse model recapitulates several phenotypic characteristics of the most common 1.02kb disease-associated deletion. Identification of reproducible biomarker(s) to facilitate longitudinal monitoring of disease progression and provide readouts for therapeutic response has remained elusive. One factor that has complicated the identification of suitable biomarkers in this mouse model has been that variations in animal husbandry appear to significantly influence readouts. In the current study, we cross-compared a number of biological parameters in blood from Cln3Δ ex7/8 mice and control, non-disease mice on the same genetic background from multiple animal facilities in an attempt to better define a surrogate marker of CLN3-Batten disease. Interestingly, we found that significant differences between Batten and non-disease mice found at one site were generally not maintained across different facilities. Our results suggest that colony variation in the Cln3Δ ex7/8 mouse model of CLN3-Batten disease can influence potential biomarkers of the disease.
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