A non-mosaic transchromosomic mouse model of down syndrome carrying the long arm of human chromosome 21

Elife. 2020 Jun 29:9:e56223. doi: 10.7554/eLife.56223.


Animal models of Down syndrome (DS), trisomic for human chromosome 21 (HSA21) genes or orthologs, provide insights into better understanding and treatment options. The only existing transchromosomic (Tc) mouse DS model, Tc1, carries a HSA21 with over 50 protein coding genes (PCGs) disrupted. Tc1 is mosaic, compromising interpretation of results. Here, we "clone" the 34 MB long arm of HSA21 (HSA21q) as a mouse artificial chromosome (MAC). Through multiple steps of microcell-mediated chromosome transfer, we created a new Tc DS mouse model, Tc(HSA21q;MAC)1Yakaz ("TcMAC21"). TcMAC21 is not mosaic and contains 93% of HSA21q PCGs that are expressed and regulatable. TcMAC21 recapitulates many DS phenotypes including anomalies in heart, craniofacial skeleton and brain, molecular/cellular pathologies, and impairments in learning, memory and synaptic plasticity. TcMAC21 is the most complete genetic mouse model of DS extant and has potential for supporting a wide range of basic and preclinical research.

Keywords: HSA21; aneuploidy; down syndrome; genetics; genomics; hybrid transchromosome; mouse; mouse artificial chromosome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 21 / genetics*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Down Syndrome / genetics*
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic / genetics*
  • Trisomy / genetics
  • Whole Genome Sequencing