A new neurological mutant has been found in the F2 offspring of CBA/Nga and RFM/Nga mice. Affected mice exhibited ataxia beginning at about 80 days of age, followed by tremor, difficulty in moving, and muscular atrophy of the hind limbs. The neurological signs became progressively severe, and death occurred by 5 to 6 months of age. Since the animals could be distinguished from normal mice by the abnormal positions of the hind limbs when the mouse was hung by the tail after 1 month of age, they could be bred until onset of the signs. Pathological examination revealed neuroaxonal dystrophy and degeneration in the gracile nucleus of the medulla oblongata and the gracile fascicules of the spinal cord, which could be the main cause of the clinical signs. The mutation is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. It was, therefore, named gracile axonal dystrophy (GAD) with the gene symbol gad. The mice could be a new pathological model for the study of neuroaxonal dystrophy.
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