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We developed a rat line showing small eye from transgenic rats that were obtained by microinjection of a DNA segment containing the human (h)tau cDNA (GenBank: BC000558: 31-677,774-1180) expressed under control of CAG promoter, which is related to Alzheimer disease, into the pronuclei rat embryos. The rat line was established by selective brother-sister mating of rats showing small eyes. Of 11 offspring in the 11th generation, there were eight animals with microphthalmia and the transgene. The remaining three rats without transgene did not show the small eyes phenotype. The globes of affected rats were 1.2 mm in length compared with normal globes (3.5 mm), and all other ocular structures were normal. The expression of hTau protein was evident immunohistochemically in the ciliary body, extraocular muscle, lens epithelium, and pigment epithelium. Cytogenetic analysis suggested that the chromosome location of the transgene was chromosome 1 (1p12). This region may include genes related to lens development, such as Cat5.


Kazuo Goto, Masahiko Yasuda, Ayako Sugawara, Takashi Kuramochi, Toshio Itoh, Noriyuki Azuma, Mamoru Ito. Small eye phenotypes observed in a human tau gene transgenic rat. Current eye research. 2006 Jan;31(1):107-10

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PMID: 16421024

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