Researchers from the NIH, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, and Emory University in Atlanta are reporting in the May 18 advance of online publication of Nature that they developed a primate model of Huntington’s disease, an important advance in our fight against this debilitating neurological problem
Here’s what they did to develop a transgenic model of HD in a rhesus macaque:
The Emory research team developed this transgenic monkey model by introducing altered forms of the Huntington gene into monkey eggs using a viral vector. The eggs were fertilized and the resulting embryos were introduced into surrogate mothers, resulting in five live births. The investigators are now studying the onset of the disease and its behavioral and cognitive effects, with the goal of using the monkey model to better understand disease mechanisms and to design therapies.
More from the NIH press release: Researchers Develop First Transgenic Monkey Model of Huntington’s Disease…
Abstract: Towards a transgenic model of Huntington’s disease in a non-human primate doi:10.1038/nature06975
Image credit: joyrex @ Flickr: Rhesus macaque