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:4/13/2016)... 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in ... new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a new ... higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key health ... mass index, and, when they opt in, share them ... to a local retail location at no cost. By ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... 29, 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: ... and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our successful ... a variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against ... collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ... DNA. Bill Bollander , CEO states, ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... and SANDY, Utah , ... which operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics and ... launch of a project to establish the informatics infrastructure ... NSO has been contracted by the Ontario ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Mass. , June 23, 2016   ... development of novel compounds designed to target cancer ... napabucasin, has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from ... the treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction ... stemness inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) ... precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of ... 15 countries. Read More About the Class of 2016 ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... In a new case report published today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, doctors ... being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection of stem cells derived from ... frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , Lymphedema refers to the swelling ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from ... also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud ...
Breaking Biology Technology: