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Morphological and behavioral analysis of Slc35f1-deficient mice revealed no neurodevelopmental phenotype.
SLC35F1 is a member of the sugar-like carrier (SLC) superfamily that is expressed in the mammalian brain. Malfunction of SLC35F1 in humans is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. To get insight into the possible roles of Slc35f1 in the brain, we generated Slc35f1-deficient mice. The Slc35f1-deficient mice are viable and survive into adulthood, which allowed examining adult Slc35f1-deficient mice on the anatomical as well as behavioral level. In humans, mutation in the SLC35F1 gene can induce a Rett syndrome-like phenotype accompanied by intellectual disability (Fede et al. Am J Med Genet A 185:2238-2240, 2021). The Slc35f1-deficient mice, however, display only a very mild phenotype and no obvious deficits in learning and memory as, e.g., monitored with the novel object recognition test or the Morris water maze test. Moreover, neuroanatomical parameters of neuronal plasticity (as dendritic spines and adult hippocampal neurogenesis) are also unaltered. Thus, Slc35f1-deficient mice display no major alterations that resemble a neurodevelopmental phenotype.
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