, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 361-368

Genetics of spike-wave discharges in the electroencephalogram (EEG) of the WAG/Rij inbred rat strain: A classical mendelian crossbreeding study

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The WAG inbred strain might be an animal model for human absence epilepsy. To study the inheritance pattern of absence epilepsy, WAG rats were crossbred, in a classical Mendelian way, with inbred ACI rats which show no signs of epilepsy. In the parental strains, reciprocal F1 hybrids, F2, B1, and B2 generations, the number and duration of spikewave discharges were determined. One hundred percent of the F1 animals showed spike-wave discharges, while the percentages for the F2, B1 and B2 generations were 79, 95, and 37%, respectively. These results suggest that the occurrence of spike-wave discharges is determined by one gene with a dominant mode of inheritance. Cavalli's least-squares fitting procedure suggested different genetic models for the two parameters (number and duration) during the two periods (dark and light). These results confirm our previous findings (Peeterset al., Behav. Genet. 20, 453–460, 1990) that a number of genes are involved in absence epilepsy. One dominant gene appears to determine the occurrence, however, while others manipulate the number and duration of epileptic phenomena during the two periods dark and light.

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