Cognitive deficit and brain GAA in SLC6A8 deficiency
Creatine transporter (CrT; SLC6A8) deficiency (CTD) is an X-linked disorder characterized by severe cognitive deficits, impairments in language and an absence of brain creatine (Cr). In a previous study, we generated floxed Slc6a8 (Slc6a8 flox ) mice to create ubiquitous Slc6a8 knockout (Slc6a8-/y ) mice. Slc6a8-/y mice lacked whole body Cr and exhibited cognitive deficits. While Slc6a8-/y mice have a similar biochemical phenotype to CTD patients, they also showed a reduction in size and reductions in swim speed that may have contributed to the observed deficits. To address this, we created brain-specific Slc6a8 knockout (bKO) mice by crossing Slc6a8flox mice with Nestin-cre mice. bKO mice had reduced cerebral Cr levels while maintaining normal Cr levels in peripheral tissue. Interestingly, brain concentrations of the Cr synthesis precursor guanidinoacetic acid were increased in bKO mice. bKO mice had longer latencies and path lengths in the Morris water maze, without reductions in swim speed. In accordance with data from Slc6a8 -/y mice, bKO mice showed deficits in novel object recognition as well as contextual and cued fear conditioning. bKO mice were also hyperactive, in contrast with data from the Slc6a8 -/y mice. The results show that the loss of cerebral Cr is responsible for the learning and memory deficits seen in ubiquitous Slc6a8-/y mice.
Udobi KC, Kokenge AN, Hautman ER, et al. Cognitive deficits and increases in creatine precursors in a brain-specific knockout of the creatine transporter gene Slc6a8. Genes Brain Behav. 2018;17(6):e12461. doi:10.1111/gbb.12461