Navigation Links
Developmental neurobiology: How the brain folds to fit
Date:4/26/2013

During fetal development of the mammalian brain, the cerebral cortex undergoes a marked expansion in surface area in some species, which is accommodated by folding of the tissue in species with most expanded neuron numbers and surface area. Researchers have now identified a key regulator of this crucial process.

Different regions of the mammalian brain are devoted to the performance of specific tasks. This in turn imposes particular demands on their development and structural organization. In the vertebrate forebrain, for instance, the cerebral cortex which is responsible for cognitive functions is remarkably expanded and extensively folded exclusively in mammalian species. The greater the degree of folding and the more furrows present, the larger is the surface area available for reception and processing of neural information. In humans, the exterior of the developing brain remains smooth until about the sixth month of gestation. Only then do superficial folds begin to appear and ultimately dominate the entire brain in humans. Conversely mice, for example, have a much smaller and smooth cerebral cortex.

"The mechanisms that control the expansion and folding of the brain during fetal development have so far been mysterious," says Professor Magdalena Gtz, a professor at the Institute of Physiology at LMU and Director of the Institute for Stem Cell Research at the Helmholtz Center Munich. Gtz and her team have now pinpointed a major player involved in the molecular process that drives cortical expansion in the mouse. They were able to show that a novel nuclear protein called Trnp1 triggers the enormous increase in the numbers of nerve cells which forces the cortex to undergo a complex series of folds. Indeed, although the normal mouse brain has a smooth appearance, dynamic regulation of Trnp1 results in activating all necessary processes for the formation of a much enlarged and folded cerebral cortex.

Levels of Trnp1 control expansion and folding

"Trnp1 is critical for the expansion and folding of the cerebral cortex, and its expression level is dynamically controlled during development," says Gtz. In the early embryo, Trnp1 is locally expressed in high concentrations. This promotes the proliferation of self-renewing multipotent neural stem cells and supports tangential expansion of the cerebral cortex. The subsequent fall in levels of Trnp1 is associated with an increase in the numbers of various intermediate progenitors and basal radial glial cells. This results in the ordered formation and migration of a much enlarged number of neurons forming folds in the growing cortex.

The findings are particularly striking because they imply that the same molecule Trnp1 controls both the expansion and the folding of the cerebral cortex and is even sufficient to induce folding in a normally smooth cerebral cortex. Trnp1 therefore serves as an ideal starting point from which to dissect the complex network of cellular and molecular interactions that underpin the whole process. Gtz and her colleagues are now embarking on the next step in this exciting journey - determination of the molecular function of this novel nuclear protein Trnp1 and how it is regulated.


'/>"/>

Contact: Luise Dirscherl
dirscherl@lmu.de
0049-892-180-2706
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt Mnchen
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New genes contributing to autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders uncovered
2. Mice with big brains provide insight into brain regeneration and developmental disorders
3. MARC travel awards announced for the Society for Developmental Biology 71st Annual Meeting
4. Environmental estrogens affect early developmental activity in zebrafish
5. Distinct developmental patterns identified in children with autism during their first 3 years
6. Developmental bait and switch
7. Researchers find new genetic pathway behind neurodevelopmental disorders
8. Developmental biologist Arthur Lander named Donald Bren Professor
9. Researchers explain a key developmental mechanism for the first time in plants
10. UTSW molecular biologist Olson wins March of Dimes developmental biology prize
11. Developmental delays in children following prolonged seizures
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/7/2020)... ... February 07, 2020 , ... ... firm for the natural health product, nutraceutical and dietary supplement industries, announces 2020 ... a leader in regulatory expertise and research pertaining to probiotics. We are thrilled ...
(Date:2/5/2020)... ... February 04, 2020 , ... ... (USPTO) issued the company a second patent related to proprietary liquid crystal technology ... compliments another patent from the USPTO issued on December 3, 2019. Together, these ...
(Date:1/30/2020)... ... 30, 2020 , ... Accelera Canada , a full-service firm delivering end-to-end ... pleased to announce that the company has opened the doors of its first office ... , “We are so thrilled to now have all our partners and their ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/22/2020)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... January 21, 2020 , ... ... (CTC) liquid biopsy from a simple blood draw, today announced the sale of the ... Health. The Rare Scope will be used in clinical cancer research. , “The RareScope ...
(Date:1/10/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... January 09, 2020 , ... ... and expert services, today announced the acquisition of Cunesoft, a move that expands ... the business objectives of life sciences companies. , Based in Munich, Germany, Cunesoft ...
(Date:1/8/2020)... ... January 08, 2020 , ... ... composites that can achieve specific properties for use in harsh environments inside or ... combines up to three metals or alloys to achieve specific properties such ...
(Date:1/7/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... January 07, 2020 , ... ... antibody products and services, today announced the launch of its VivopureX™ recombinant mouse ... antibody clones, many originally obtained from rats or hamsters, which Absolute Antibody has ...
Breaking Biology Technology: