Creatine increase survival and delays motor symptoms in a transgenic animal model of Huntington's disease

Neurobiol Dis. 2001 Jun;8(3):479-91. doi: 10.1006/nbdi.2001.0406.


There is substantial evidence for bioenergetic defects in Huntington's disease (HD). Creatine administration increases brain phosphocreatine levels and it stabilizes the mitochondrial permeability transition. We examined the effects of creatine administration in a transgenic mouse model of HD produced by 82 polyglutamine repeats in a 171 amino acid N-terminal fragment of huntingtin (N171-82Q). Dietary supplementation of 2% creatine significantly improved survival, slowed the development of motor symptoms, and delayed the onset of weight loss. Creatine lessened brain atrophy and the formation of intranuclear inclusions, attenuated reductions in striatal N-acetylaspartate as assessed by NMR spectroscopy, and delayed the development of hyperglycemia. These results are similar to those observed using dietary creatine supplementation in the R6/2 transgenic mouse model of HD and provide further evidence that creatine may exert therapeutic effects in HD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aspartic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Aspartic Acid / metabolism
  • Blood Glucose
  • Brain Chemistry / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Creatinine / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Female
  • Huntingtin Protein
  • Huntington Disease / drug therapy*
  • Huntington Disease / metabolism*
  • Huntington Disease / mortality
  • Hyperglycemia / metabolism
  • Insulin / blood
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Neostriatum / drug effects
  • Neostriatum / pathology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Organ Size
  • Survival Rate


  • Blood Glucose
  • Htt protein, mouse
  • Huntingtin Protein
  • Insulin
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Aspartic Acid
  • N-acetylaspartate
  • Creatinine