Automated Gait Analysis of A-T Mice
Measuring the neurological problems in mice with ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) is a critical step in analyzing drugs that could be used to treat this disease in humans. Unfortunately, this has been an enormous challenge for scientists because the neurological defects are so subtle in A-T mice.
To address this challenge, the A-T Children’s Project funded a Boston based company, Mouse Specifics, Inc., to assess the gait of A-T mice as they walk using DigiGait, a sophisticated gait imaging and analysis system developed by the company. A-T and control mice on three different genetic backgrounds were analyzed with the DigiGait System weekly for three months, and monthly thereafter out to one year. Preliminary results demonstrated that significant gait disturbances existed in the Atm deficient mice.
Automated gait analysis systems like DigiGait, GaitScan (Cleversys), or CatWalk XT (Noldus) provide an objective means of detecting gait disturbances in Atm-/- mice (Campbell et al., 2015).*
*Campbell, A., Krupp, B., Bushman, J., Noble, M., Proschel, C., and Mayer-Proschel, M. (2015). A novel mouse model for ataxia-telangiectasia with a N-terminal mutation displays a behavioral defect and a low incidence of lymphoma but no increased oxidative burden. Hum Mol Genet 24, 6331-6349.