Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are overlapping neurodegenerative disorders. ALS is more commonly seen in men than women and the same may be the case for FTD. Preclinical models demonstrating sex-specific vulnerability may help to understand female resistance to ALS-FTD and thereby identify routes to therapy. We previously characterised a TDP-43Q331K knock-in mouse, which demonstrated behavioural phenotypes reminiscent of ALS-FTD in males. Here we present our behavioural observations of female TDP-43Q331K mutants. Female TDP-43Q331K knock-in mice displayed increased weight relative to wild-type and increased food intake at 20 months of age, much later than previously observed in male mutants. Spontaneous digging behaviour was initially normal and only declined in mutants in the second year of life. Gait analysis using Catwalk (https://www.noldus.com/catwalk-xt) found significant deficits in the second year of life, while nocturnal running behaviour was attenuated from ~250 days of life. These results indicate that while female TDP-43Q331K knock-in mice do display progressive behavioural phenotypes, these are less severe than we previously noted in male mutants. Further studies of male and female TDP-43Q331K knock-in mice may help to unravel the mechanisms underlying sex-specific vulnerability in ALS-FTD.
|Published - 20 Oct 2020