Large animal models of huntington's disease: What we have learned and where we need to go next

David Howland, Zdenka Ellederova, Neil Aronin, Deborah Fernau, Jill Gallagher, Amanda Taylor, Jon Hennebold, Alison R. Weiss, Heather Gray-Edwards, Jodi McBride

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Genetically modified rodent models of Huntington's disease (HD) have been especially valuable to our understanding of HD pathology and the mechanisms by which the mutant HTT gene alters physiology. However, due to inherent differences in genetics, neuroanatomy, neurocircuitry and neurophysiology, animal models do not always faithfully or fully recapitulate human disease features or adequately predict a clinical response to treatment. Therefore, conducting translational studies of candidate HD therapeutics only in a single species (i.e. mouse disease models) may not be sufficient. Large animal models of HD have been shown to be valuable to the HD research community and the expectation is that the need for translational studies that span rodent and large animal models will grow. Here, we review the large animal models of HD that have been created to date, with specific commentary on differences between the models, the strengths and disadvantages of each, and how we can advance useful models to study disease pathophysiology, biomarker development and evaluation of promising therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-216
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Huntington's disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Minipigs
  • nonhuman primates
  • sheep
  • therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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