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
Sponsor(s): American Belgian Tervuren Club, Inc., Border Terrier Club of America, Chinese Shar-Pei Charitable Trust, Collie Health Foundation, English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association, Great Dane Club of America, Great Dane Club of America Charitable Trust, Greyhound Club of America, National Beagle Club
Breed(s): German Shepherd Dog
Research Program Area: Prevention

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.

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