Previous analyses of gene expression in a mouse model of Huntington's disease (R6/2) indicated that an N-terminal fragment of mutant huntingtin causes downregulation of striatal signaling genes and particularly those normally induced by cAMP and retinoic acid. The present study expands the regional and temporal scope of this previous work by assessing whether similar changes occur in other brain regions affected in Huntington's disease and other polyglutamine diseases and by discerning whether gene expression changes precede the appearance of disease signs. Oligonucleotide microarrays were employed to survey the expression of ∼11000 mRNAs in the cerebral cortex, cerebellum and striatum of symptomatic R6/2 mice. The number and nature of gene expression changes were similar among these three regions, influenced as expected by regional differences in baseline gene expression. Time-course studies revealed that mRNA changes could only reliably be detected after 4 weeks of age, coincident with development of early pathologic and behavioral changes in these animals. In addition, we discovered that skeletal muscle is also a target of polyglutamine-related perturbations in gene expression, showing changes in mRNAs that are dysregulated in brain and also muscle-specific mRNAs. The complete dataset is available at www.neumetrix.info.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology