Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Delaying the onset of Huntington's in mice

This unremitting disease develops later in animals stimulated by their environment.


Huntington's disease is an inherited (autosomal dominant) disorder in which there is progressive neurodegeneration, affecting the corpus striatum and cerebral cortex of the brain, and for which there is no known cure. Transgenic mice have been created1,2 that develop a neurodegenerative syndrome that closely models the human disease. Here we show that exposure of these mice to a stimulating, enriched environment from an early age helps to prevent the loss of cerebral volume and delays the onset of motor disorders.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Exposure to a stimulating environment delays the onset of the disease phenotype in R6/1 HD mice.


  1. Huntington's Disease Collaborative Research Group Cell 72, 971–983 ( 1993).

  2. Mangiarini, L. et al. Cell 87, 493–506 (1996).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Davies, S. W. et al. Cell 90, 537–548 (1997).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Comery, T. A., Shah, R. & Greenough, W. T. Neurobiol. Learn. Mem. 63, 217–219 (1995).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Comery, T. A., Stamoudis, C. X., Irwin, S. A. & Greenough, W. T. Neurobiol. Learn. Mem. 66, 93–96 (1996).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Deckel, A. W., Cohen, D. & Duckrow, R. Neurology 51, 1576– 1583 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Murphy, K. P. S. J. et al. J. Neurosci. (in the press).

  8. Hodgson, J. G. et al. Neuron 23, 181–192 (1999).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Foster, T. C., Gagne, J. & Massicotte, G. Brain Res. 736, 243– 250 (1996).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Young, D. H., Lawlor, P. A., Leone, P., Dragunow, M. & During, M. J. Nature Med. 5, 448– 453 (1999).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Georgiou, N. et al. Mov. Disord. 14, 320– 325 (1999).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Anton van Dellen.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

van Dellen, A., Blakemore, C., Deacon, R. et al. Delaying the onset of Huntington's in mice. Nature 404, 721–722 (2000).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing