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Open Access Postnatal Growth in a Mouse Genetic Model of Classical Phenylketonuria

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Because of the ethical problems of withholding dietary treatment from patients with phenylketonuria, effectively studying long-term effects such as postnatal growth rates is difficult or impossible. The only literature available on the growth rate of phenylketonurics dates from the era before effective dietary treatment regimens were instituted routinely. Although some of these studies suggest that these patients have a reduced growth rate, whether this is a consistent feature of the untreated phenylketonuric is unclear. The mutant mouse line BTBR-Pahenu2, a genetic model for human phenylketonuria, provides an opportunity to conduct studies that will clarify this issue. In this study, the weights of newborn mice were monitored from about 7 to 40 days after birth. Comparison to heterozygous, sex-matched littermates revealed a reduction in the size of homozygous mutants throughout the study. Therefore, reduced postnatal growth is an abiding feature of phenylketonuria in this mouse model. This finding not only helps to document the association between size reduction and untreated phenylketonuria but also sets the stage for studies designed to investigate the means by which size reduction occurs.

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Document Type: Case Report

Affiliations: Wichita State University, Department of Biological Sciences, 1845 Fairmount, Box 26, Wichita, KS 67260-0026

Publication date: November 1, 2000

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  • The Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (JAALAS) serves as an official communication vehicle for the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The journal includes a section of refereed articles and a section of AALAS association news. The mission of the refereed section of the journal is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information on animal biology, technology, facility operations, management, and compliance as relevant to the AALAS membership. JAALAS accepts research reports (data-based) or scholarly reports (literature-based), with the caveat that all articles, including solicited manuscripts, must include appropriate references and must undergo peer review.

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