X-linked transmission of the shaker mutation in rats with hereditary Purkinje cell degeneration and ataxia

B. Ruth Clark, Marie Laregina, Daniel L. Tolbert

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20 Scopus citations


This study reports on the mode of inheritance of the shaker mutation and the development of an inbred strain of the shaker rat mutation from Sprague Dawley outbred stock onto a Wistar Furth background. Neuroanatomical and behavioral expression of the affected phenotype, through seven generations of backcross and intercross breeding, has confirmed the mode of inheritance to be X-linked. Behaviorally, affected mutants present with a wide-based ataxic gait and whole body tremor. In affected mutants calbindin immunostaining for surviving cerebellar Purkinje cells revealed widespread degeneration in the anterior lobe and in limited areas of the posterior lobe. Fast Fourier transform analysis of the tremor revealed a frequency of 3-5 Hz. As predicted by X-linked inheritance, female descendants of an affected male are carriers for the genotype and the phenotype is expressed in one-half of her male offspring. There was spatially random and limited degeneration of Purkinje cells in carrier females, but they did not display overt clinical signs of ataxia and tremor. These data provide further support for using the shaker mutant rat as an animal model for studies of mechanisms underlying human heredodegenerative diseases. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-273
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 10 2000


  • Cerebellum
  • Hereditary ataxia
  • Neuronal degeneration
  • Purkinje cell
  • Tremor


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