Navigation Links
'Forrest Gump' mice show too much of a good thing, can be bad
Date:6/20/2013

A line of genetically modified mice that Western University scientists call "Forrest Gump" because, like the movie character, they can run far but they aren't smart, is furthering the understanding of a key neurotransmitter called acetylcholine (ACh). Marco Prado and his team at Robarts Research Institute say the mice show what happens when too much of this neurotransmitter becomes available in the brain. Boosting ACh is a therapeutic target for Alzheimer's disease because it's found in reduced amounts when there's cognitive failure. Prado's research is published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

"We wanted to know what happens if you have more of the gene which controls how much acetylcholine is secreted by neurons," says Prado, a Robarts scientist and professor in the Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology and Anatomy and Cell Biology at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. "The response was the complete opposite of what we expected. It's not a good thing. Acetylcholine release was increased threefold in these mice, which seemed to disturb cognitive function. But put them on a treadmill and they can run twice as far as normal mice before tiring. They're super-athletes." In addition to its function in modulating cognitive abilities, ACh drives muscle contraction which allowed for the marked improvement in motor endurance.

One of the tests the scientists, including first author Benjamin Kolisnyk, used is called the touch screen test for mice which uses technology similar to a tablet. After initiating the test, the mice have to scan five different spots on the touch screen to see a light flash, and then run and touch that area. If they get it right they get a reward. Compared to the control mice, the "Forrest Gump" mice failed miserably at the task. The researchers found the mice, which have the scientific name ChAT-ChR2-EYFP, had terrible attention spans, as well as dysfunction in working memory and spatial memory.

Prado interprets the research as showing ACh is very important for differentiating cues. So if your brain is presented with a lot of simultaneous information, it helps to pick what's important. But when you flood the brain with ACh, your brain loses the ability to discern what's relevant. This study was funded mainly by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kathy Wallis
kwallis3@uwo.ca
519-661-2111 x81136
University of Western Ontario
Source:Eurekalert

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/9/2016)... Mass., Feb. 9, 2016 Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ... financial results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, ... for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $6.9 million, an increase ... year. Operating income in the fourth quarter of 2015 was $2.6 ... --> --> Higher revenue ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... DUBLIN , Feb. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the addition of the "Global Facial ... offering. --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5kvw8m/global_facial ) has ... Facial Recognition Market 2016-2020" report to ... Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5kvw8m/global_facial ) has announced the ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... , February 3, 2016 ... market research report "Automated Fingerprint Identification System Market by ... Search), Application (Banking & Finance, Government, Healthcare, and Transportation) ... MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 21.0% between 2015 and 2020. The transformation and technology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Feb. 12, 2016 Biocom, the association representing ... took a group of San Diego ... of its 2016 Precision Medicine Advocacy Fly-In. Biocom Fly-In participants ... and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid ... as San Diego U.S. Representatives Susan Davis and ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... N.J. , Feb. 12, 2016  PTC ... the second annual STRIVE (Strategies to Realize Innovation, ... muscular dystrophy (DMD). STRIVE provides funds to patient ... that will make meaningful contributions to the rare ... fostering development of future patient advocates. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 2016  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: NBIX ) today announced ... 2015. --> --> For ... of $29.3 million, or $0.34 loss per share, compared to a ... the same period in 2014. For the year ended December 31, ... $1.05 loss per share, as compared to a net loss of ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  Bioethics International, a not-for-profit ... are researched, developed, marketed and made accessible to patients around ... Open had named the publication of the Good ... The publication is also featured as one of BMJ ... the last year that are most frequently read. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: