FDG-microPET and MR DTI findings in Tor1a heterozygous knock-out mice
TorsinA is an important protein in brain development, and plays a role in the regulation of neurite outgrowth and synaptic function. Patients with the most common form of genetic dystonia carry a mutation (DYT1) in one copy of the Tor1a gene, a 3-bp deletion, causing removal of a single glutamic acid from torsinA. Previous imaging studies have shown that abnormal cerebellar metabolism and damaged cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathway contribute to the pathophysiology of DYT1 dystonia. However, how a mutation in one copy of the Tor1a gene causes these abnormalities is not known. We studied Tor1a heterozygous knock-out mice in vivo with FDG-PET and ex vivo with diffusion tensor imaging. We found metabolic abnormalities in cerebellum, caudate-putamen, globus pallidus, sensorimotor cortex and subthalamic nucleus. We also found that FA was increased in caudate-putamen, sensorimotor cortex and brainstem. We compared our findings with a previous imaging study of the Tor1a knock-in mice. Our study suggested that having only one normal copy of Tor1a gene may be responsible for the metabolic abnormalities observed; having a copy of mutant Tor1a, on the other hand, may be responsible for white matter pathway damages seen in DYT1 dystonia subjects.
Faculty; Northwell Researcher
School of Medicine; Northwell Health