Rats, Mice, MECP2 Differences and Implications

mouseOn first reading, differences between mice and rats in responses to missing aMECP2 gene didn’t seem to relevant to research on treating extra MECP2 gene activity in humans with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome. Later, it suddenly hit me that this could be very relevant and important.  This research suggests that rats may be a better model for studying MECP2 Gene activity than mice that are currently being used in most of the studies. In a more general sense it also suggests that the role of the MECP2 gene may be species specific. If there are significant differences in MECP2 function in two fairly similar rodents, however, how much difference may exist between MECP2 function between either of these animal models and humans? Of course, none of this means that continued research using these animal models will not be useful, but it does suggest that the path from this basic research to clinical applications may be longer and more complicated than one might hope.

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