Motor and Behavioural Abnormalities Associated with Persistent Spontaneous Epilepsy in the fvb/n Mouse Strain

  • Anabela Silva-Fernandes Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health Sciences University of Minho
  • Pedro Oliveira 1Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health Sciences University of Minho and Department of Production and Systems Engineering, School of Engineering University of Minho
  • Nuno Sousa Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health Sciences University of Minho
  • Patrícia Maciel Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health Sciences University of Minho

Abstract

The FVB/N mouse strain (Mus musculus) is often used for generation of transgenic animals. However, it  has also been the object of several studies in epilepsy research due to its increased susceptibility to develop  spontaneous and induced seizures and its sensitivity to seizure-triggered neuronal death. 

We aimed to analyse behavioural changes observed in FVB/N mice that had seizure episodes throughout  life. For this, we assessed the behaviour profile of 52-week old FVB/N animals displaying repeated  spontaneous seizures, using the SHIRPA protocol. These epileptic mice also displayed a marked gait ataxia  and decreased locomotor and exploratory activity. Moreover, these animals weighed less than control mice,  and displayed increased signs of aggression and vocalization behaviours. Analysis of the data by clusters  showed that in the epileptic mice there were significant deficits in the SHIRPA “spinocerebellar function”,  “neuropsychiatric function” and “muscle and lower motor neuron function” scores, suggesting extensive  brain damage caused by repeated experience of seizures. 

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