00902-A: Sequence Analysis of DLA-DRB1 in German Shepherd Dogs Having Degenerative Myelopathy
Grant Status: Closed
Grant Amount: $2,157.47
Dr. Leigh Anne Clark, PhD, Texas A&M University
August 1, 2007 - October 31, 2007
Breed(s): German Shepherd Dog
Disease(s): Degenerative Myelopathy
Abstract Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder that is common in the large breed dogs, particularly the GSD. Onset of DM usually occurs in dogs 5 to 14 years old. Affected dogs will begin to drag their legs and exhibit other signs of weakness in the hind limbs. Currently, there is no defined diagnostic procedure or treatment regimen for DM. Most affected dogs are euthanized within one year of diagnosis. The cause of DM is unknown and very few studies have been conducted to understand the genetics underlying the disease. Multiple sclerosis is a human disorder that is clinically similar to DM. Specific variations in the gene HLA-DRB1 are associated with the development of multiple sclerosis. We propose to compare the sequences of the canine version of this gene, DLA-DRB1, in affected and normal GSDs to determine if variations are associated with DM.