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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 20

of 'Ataxia-telangiectasia'

Abnormal development of Purkinje cells and lymphocytes in Atm mutant mice.
Borghesani PR, Alt FW, Bottaro A, Davidson L, Aksoy S, Rathbun GA, Roberts TM, Swat W, Segal RA, Gu Y
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000;97(7):3336.
Motor incoordination, immune deficiencies, and an increased risk of cancer are the characteristic features of the hereditary disease ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T), which is caused by mutations in the ATM gene. Through gene targeting, we have generated a line of Atm mutant mice, Atm(y/y) mice. In contrast to other Atm mutant mice, Atm(y/y) mice show a lower incidence of thymic lymphoma and survive beyond a few months of age. Atm(y/y) mice exhibit deficits in motor learning indicative of cerebellar dysfunction. Even though we found no gross cerebellar degeneration in older Atm(y/y) animals, ectopic and abnormally differentiated Purkinje cells were apparent in mutant mice of all ages. These findings establish that some neuropathological abnormalities seen in A-T patients also are present in Atm mutant mice. In addition, we report a previously unrecognized effect of Atm deficiency on development or maintenance of CD4(+)8(+) thymocytes. We discuss these findings in the context of the hypothesis that abnormal development of Purkinje cells and lymphocytes contributes to the pathogenesis of A-T.
Department of Pediatric Oncology and Division of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 00115, USA.