Behavioral and neuroanatomical analyses in a genetic mouse model of 2q13 duplication.
Kishimoto K., Nomura J., Ellegood J., Fukumoto K., Lerch JP., Moreno-De-Luca D., Bourgeron T., Tamada K., Takumi T.
Duplications of human chromosome 2q13 have been reported in patients with neurodevelopmental disorder including autism spectrum disorder. Nephronophthisis-1 (NPHP1) was identified as a causative gene in the minimal deletion on chromosome 2q13 for familial juvenile type 1 nephronophthisis and Joubert syndrome, an autosomal recessive neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a cerebellar and brain stem malformation, hypotonia, developmental delay, ataxia, and sometimes associated with cognitive impairment. NPHP1 encodes a ciliary protein, nephrocystin-1, which is expressed in the brain, yet its function in the brain remains largely unknown. In this study, we generated bacterial artificial chromosome-based transgenic mice, called 2q13 dup, that recapitulate human chromosome 2q13 duplication and contain one extra copy of the Nphp1 transgene. To analyze any behavioral alterations in 2q13 dup mice, we conducted a battery of behavioral tests. Although 2q13 dup mice show no significant differences in social behavior, they show deficits in spontaneous alternation behavior and fear memory. We also carried out magnetic resonance imaging to confirm whether copy number gain in this locus affects the neuroanatomy. There was a trend toward a decrease in the cerebellar paraflocculus of 2q13 dup mice. This is the first report of a genetic mouse model for human 2q13 duplication.