Trisomy 21 results in gene-dosage imbalance during embryogenesis and throughout life, ultimately causing multiple anomalies that contribute to the clinical manifestations of Down syndrome. Down syndrome is associated with manifestations of variable severity (e.g., heart anomalies, reduced growth, dental anomalies, shortened life-span). Craniofacial dysmorphology and cognitive dysfunction are consistently observed in all people with Down syndrome. Mouse models are useful for studying the effects of gene-dosage imbalance on development. We investigated quantitative changes in the skull and brain of the Dp(16)1Yey Down syndrome mouse model and compared these mice to Ts65Dn and Ts1Cje mouse models. Three-dimensional micro-computed tomography images of Dp(16)1Yey and euploid mouse crania were morphometrically evaluated. Cerebellar cross-sectional area, Purkinje cell linear density, and granule cell density were evaluated relative to euploid littermates. Skulls of Dp(16)1Yey and Ts65Dn mice displayed similar changes in craniofacial morphology relative to their respective euploid littermates. Trisomy-based differences in brain morphology were also similar in Dp(16)1Yey and Ts65Dn mice. These results validate examination of the genetic basis for craniofacial and brain phenotypes in Dp(16)1Yey mice and suggest that they, like Ts65Dn mice, are valuable tools for modeling the effects of trisomy 21 on development.
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