We previously reported that a (CTG)n expansion causes spinocerebellar ataxia type 8 (SCA8), a slowly progressive ataxia with reduced penetrance. We now report a transgenic mouse model in which the full-length human SCA8 mutation is transcribed using its endogenous promoter. (CTG) 116 expansion, but not (CTG)11 control lines, develop a progressive neurological phenotype with in vivo imaging showing reduced cerebellar-cortical inhibition. 1C2-positive intranuclear inclusions in cerebellar Purkinje and brainstem neurons in SCA8 expansion mice and human SCA8 autopsy tissue result from translation of a polyglutamine protein, encoded on a previously unidentified antiparallel transcript (ataxin 8, ATXN8 ) spanning the repeat in the CAG direction. The neurological phenotype in SCA8 BAC expansion but not BAC control lines demonstrates the pathogenicity of the (CTG-CAG) n expansion. Moreover, the expression of noncoding (CUG)n expansion transcripts (ataxin 8 opposite strand, ATXN8OS) and the discovery of intranuclear polyglutamine inclusions suggests SCA8 pathogenesis involves toxic gain-of-function mechanisms at both the protein and RNA levels.