Translational neurophysiology in sheep: Measuring sleep and neurological dysfunction in CLN5 Batten disease affected sheep
Perentos, N.; Martins, A. Q.; Watson, T. C.; Bartsch, U.; Mitchell, Nadia L.; Palmer, David N.; Jones, M. W.; Morton, A. J.
Creating valid mouse models of slowly progressing human neurological diseases is challenging, not least because the short lifespan of rodents confounds realistic modelling of disease time course. With their large brains and long lives, sheep offer significant advantages for translational studies of human disease. Here we used normal and CLN5 Batten disease affected sheep to demonstrate the use of the species for studying neurological function in a model of human disease. We show that electroencephalography can be used in sheep, and that longitudinal recordings spanning many months are possible. This is the first time such an electroencephalography study has been performed in sheep. We characterized sleep in sheep, quantifying characteristic vigilance states and neurophysiological hallmarks such as sleep spindles. Mild sleep abnormalities and abnormal epileptiform waveforms were found in the electroencephalographies of Batten disease affected sheep. These abnormalities resemble the epileptiform activity seen in children with Batten disease and demonstrate the translational relevance of both the technique and the model. Given that both spontaneous and engineered sheep models of human neurodegenerative diseases already exist, sheep constitute a powerful species in which longitudinal in vivo studies can be conducted. This will advance our understanding of normal brain function and improve our capacity for translational research into neurological disorders.... [Show full abstract]