Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) swine models: Production and preliminary characterization

A Grindatto, A Perota, Mn Chieppa, Ev Costassa, S Colleoni, M Lo Faro, R Duchi, C Palmitessa, I Lagutina, M Tortarolo, G Lazzari, Franco Lucchini, C Bendotti, C Corona, C Galli, C. Casalone

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaContributo a convegnopeer review


Introduction. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that occurs in two forms: sporadic and familial, the latter linked to mutations in the SOD1 gene. As employment of transgenic SOD1 rodent models in ALS research didn’t result in an improvement of patient prognosis, another model, more closely related to human species, is strongly demanded by the scientific community. On this basis, our group produced, by Genetic Engineering and SCNT, transgenic blastocysts and swine carrying the hSOD1G93A mutation, which is the most frequently studied in rodents, since it reproduces patients phenotype progression. Materials and Methods. SCNT blastocysts on fifth day of development were transplanted by midventral laparatomy to the synchronized sows uterus. A cesarean delivery was performed at the 114th day of gestation. In order to achieve a preliminary characterization of our swine model, tissue banking was performed on stillborn piglets and on animals that died soon after birth. Immunocytochemistry on ear biopsy fibroblasts and western blot on homogenized snap-shot frozen tissues (rabbit policlonal antibody 07–403 Millipore, concentration 1:200 and 1:1000 respectively) were performed. To assess SOD1G93A deposition pattern Immunohistochemistry (rabbit policlonal antibody GTX 100659; 1:250) and Immunofluorescence (GTX 100659; 1:250 and NeuN MAB377; 1:1000) were employed on FFPE tissues. Genomic SOD1G93A swine DNA digested by SalI+BglII (10 U/μg DNA) was hybridized with SOD-DIG probes (20 ng/ml) to assess transgene integrations number by Southern Blot. Results and Conclusions. The transfer of 638 embryos to eight recipient sows resulted in four pregnancies and in the birth of 16 vital and 12 stillborn piglets (mean blastocyst development to term efficacy, 8.78%). Five animals developed normally while the remaining piglets died due to events commonly reported in commercial herds. The transgenic protein expression was confirmed by both immunocytochemistry and western blot. Furthermore Southern blot revealed a transgene integration number ranging from 1 to about 6 copies. IHC demonstrated granular mutant protein aggregates in both perikarya and neurites of neurons (nucleus labeled with NeuN in immunofluorescence experiment) in brain (from area hypothalamica lateralis to the third ventricle) and in spinal cord neurites. Despite these encouraging results, further molecular and pathological investigations are required since data have been obtained in stillborn or extremely young animals. A detailed phenotypical characterization, adapting to pig currently employed human diagnostic devices, is in progress on adult living swine
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)63-64
Numero di pagine2
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2013
EventoPRION 2013 - Banff, Alberta, Canada
Durata: 26 mag 201329 mag 2013


  • Cu/Zn superoxide-dismutase1 (SOD1)
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)
  • swine model


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