Study shows mouse cerebellum quite different from human

An international team of researchers has found that the mouse cerebellum may not be a good model for the human cerebellum in brain studies. In their study published in the journal Science, the group describes their comparison study that involved the human, mice and macaque cerebellums as they developed.

Prior research has suggested that the mouse cerebellum and the human cerebellum are enough alike that experiments on the mouse cerebellum can be conducted to learn more about how the human cerebellum works. The cerebellum in humans is the part of our brain that deals with sensory information and the ways we respond to it. In this new effort, the researchers sought to find out if the mouse cerebellum truly is enough like the human cerebellum for results from such experiments to be useful.

The work by the team involved very closely studying the development of the cerebellum in mice, humans and macaques—another animal that is used for cerebellum studies. After obtaining human cerebellum tissue samples from hospitals and other institutions, mouse samples from test mice and images of macaque cerebellum tissue from prior research efforts, the team compared them. They found they had enough material and data to compare cerebellum development from 30 days post-conception to approximately nine months after birth.

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