Distinguished by the experience and knowledge of our scientists and technicians, PsychoGenics stands as a leading partner in preclinical Huntington’s disease studies.  

Huntington’s disease arises from an unstable expansion of CAG repeats within the gene encoding the huntingtin (Htt) protein. This genetic anomaly results in an excessive accumulation of glutamine repeats, forming aggregates in the nucleus that contribute to the progressive nature of the disease. This devastating neurodegenerative disorder is characterized by abnormal motor movements, personality changes, and premature death.

Our Huntington’s Disease Models

Our preclinical Huntington’s disease research expertise encompasses the leading mouse models for drug discovery and development in the field:

Our partnership with the CHDI Foundation has empowered us to extensively study the R6/2 HD mouse model. This model expresses the N-terminal portion of the huntingtin protein with approximately 120 CAG repeats. 

Through molecular, behavioral, histological, and electrophysiological  approaches, we have characterized this model at both pre- and post-symptomatic stages. The 120 CAG R6/2 model serves as a validated and predictive tool for preclinical efficacy studies, fueling our pursuit for effective Huntington’s disease treatments. 

PsychoGenics developed the zQ175 knock-in model, a significant breakthrough in Huntington’s disease research. This model involves the replacement of mouse Htt exon 1 with the mutant human HTT exon 1, featuring approximately 190 CAG repeats. 

Notably, the zQ175 model exhibits a slow progression of Huntington’s disease-related abnormalities, including decreased striatal volume, motor impairment, and basal ganglia circuit abnormalities. Through studying this model, we glean valuable insights into the underlying mechanisms of Huntington’s disease and explore potential therapeutic interventions.

The zQ175 knock-in model shows a progressive motor and cognitive decline consistent with other HD models. Specifically, this model exhibits age-related decline in body weight, reduced survival, motor deficits, and apathy, which are more pronounced in zQ175 homozygous mice. 

Advancing Knowledge, Igniting Innovation in Preclinical Huntington’s Disease Research

At PsychoGenics, our preclinical research expertise and utilization of advanced animal models drive our work to advance your breakthrough Huntington’s disease therapy. Through detailed analysis of this disorder, we aim to contribute to the development of your innovative therapy and improve the lives of those affected.

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