Purdue University Graduate School

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Characterizing femoral structure of the Ts66Yah mouse model of Down syndrome

posted on 2023-08-30, 20:19 authored by Kourtney N SloanKourtney N Sloan


Down syndrome (DS) is caused by the partial or complete trisomy of human chromosome 21 (Hsa21) and can result in skeletal deficits, including lower bone mineral density (BMD) and increased risk of fracture and osteoporosis or osteopenia earlier than the general population. Mouse models of DS have been developed to understand the genetic mechanisms resulting in these phenotypes, but models differ due to the complex genetic nature of DS and differing genome structures between humans and mice. Ts65Dn mice have been a popular model of DS as they contain ~50% of Hsa21 orthologous genes on a freely segregating minichromosome, but there is speculation that the phenotypes are exaggerated by non-Hsa21 orthologous trisomic genes also present. To address this issue, the Ts66Yah mouse model was developed to remove the non-Hsa21 orthologous trisomic genes. In this study, male and female Ts66Yah mouse femurs were evaluated during bone accrual and peak bone mass to investigate structural differences using micro-computed tomography. Additionally, the role of trisomic Dyrk1a, a Hsa21 gene previously linked to bone deficits in Ts65Dn mice, was evaluated through genetic and pharmacological means in Ts66Yah femurs at postnatal day 36. Ts66Yah mice were found to have little or no trabecular deficits at any age evaluated, but sex-dependent cortical deficits were present at all ages investigated. Reducing Dyrk1a copy number in Ts66Yah mice significantly improved cortical deficits but did not return cortical bone to euploid levels. Pharmacological treatment with DYRK1A inhibitor L21 was confounded by multiple variables, making it difficult to draw conclusions about DYRK1A inhibition in this manner. Overall, these results indicate trabecular deficits associated with Ts65Dn mice may be due to the non-Hsa21 orthologous trisomic genes, and more Hsa21 orthologous trisomic genes are necessary to produce trabecular deficits in DS model mice. As more mouse models of DS are developed, multiple models need to be assessed to accurately define DS-associated phenotypes and test potential treatments.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Biological Sciences

Campus location

  • Indianapolis

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Randall J. Roper

Additional Committee Member 2

Jiliang Li

Additional Committee Member 3

Christine J. Picard

Additional Committee Member 4

Margaret A. McNulty

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