The cerebellum plays a fundamental, but as yet poorly understood, role in the control of locomotion. Recently, mice with gene mutations or knockouts have been used to investigate various aspects of cerebellar function with regard to locomotion. Although many of the mutant mice exhibit severe gait ataxia, kinematic analyses of limb movements have been performed in only a few cases. Here, we investigated locomotion in ho15J mice that have a mutation of the δ2 glutamate receptor. The cerebellum of ho15J mice shows a severe reduction in the number of parallel fiber-Purkinje synapses compared with wild-type mice. Analysis of hindlimb kinematics during treadmill locomotion showed abnormal hindlimb movements characterized by excessive toe elevation during the swing phase, and by severe hyperflexion of the ankles in ho15J mice. The great trochanter heights in ho15J mice were lower than in wild-type mice throughout the step cycle. However, there were no significant differences in various temporal parameters between ho15J and wild-type mice. We suggest that dysfunction of the cerebellar neuronal circuits underlies the observed characteristic kinematic abnormality of hindlimb movements during locomotion of ho15J mice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences