Expression of the Wilson disease gene is deficient in the Long-Evans Cinnamon rat. Academic Article uri icon


  • Long-Evans Cinnamon rats develop a necrotizing hepatitis characterized by excessive hepatic copper accumulation, defective holoceruloplasmin biosynthesis and impaired biliary copper excretion. To elucidate the molecular basis of this defect, a cDNA clone encoding the rat Wilson disease gene was isolated and used to examine gene expression in selected tissues from normal and Long-Evans Cinnamon rats. Although this cDNA readily detects Wilson transcripts in liver and other tissues from normal rats, such transcripts are entirely absent from tissues derived from the Long-Evans Cinnamon rat strain. These data therefore identify the Long-Evans Cinnamon rat as the first bona fide animal model of Wilson disease and suggest that this rat strain may be a valuable resource in the study of this genetic disorder.

publication date

  • July 1, 1994