Footprint assay

Evaluation of motor coordination

A detailed analysis of motor coordination and synchrony is provided by examining gait during normal walking. A commonly used method for assessing gait is the ‘footprint’ test. The fore and hind paws are painted with non-toxic dyes of different colors. The mice are then allowed to walk along a runway into an enclosed box, leaving their footprints on paper. Footprint scoring is straightforward, and it translates directly from animal to human studies.

Motor dysfunction affects footprint pattern

footprint-assayVanishing white matter (VWM) is a fatal leukoencephalopathy caused by mutations in any of the five genes encoding for translation initiation factor eIF2B. VWM is clinically characterized a.o. by chronic progressive motor dysfunction. In collaboration with our partners, we studied an Eif2b5 knockout mutant; a manuscript is currently under review.