Dopamine transporter knockout mouse
We have developed knockout mice lacking the dopamine transporter. These mice are hyperactive, and display cognitive abnormalities consistent with enhanced dopaminergic neurotransmission. They have a heightened dopaminergic state (increase dopamine activity), mimicking certain behaviors associated with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. These mutant mice respond to several classes of drugs used in the treatment of these disorders and can be effectively used to screen for novel therapeutic agents. These mice also show a 30% reduction in body weight when compared to normal mice. In combination with a tyrosine hydroxylase (Th) inhibitor, these mice do not synthesize dopamine and can be used to screen for potential anti-parkinsonian drugs. Knockout mice lacking the dopamine transporter are described in US patents 5,866,756 and 6,218,595 and are available for non-exclusive licensing.