Navigation Links
GW professor discovers new information in the understanding of autism and genetics

WASHINGTON (Jan. 3, 2012) Research out of the George Washington University (GW), published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), reveals another piece of the puzzle in a genetic developmental disorder that causes behavioral diseases such as autism. Anthony-Samuel LaMantia, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and physiology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) and director of the GW Institute for Neuroscience, along with post-doctoral fellow Daniel Meechan, Ph.D. and Thomas Maynard, Ph.D., associate research professor of pharmacology and physiology at GW SMHS, authored the study titled "Cxcr4 regulation of interneuron migration is disrupted in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome."

For the past nine years, LaMantia and his colleagues have been investigating how behavioral disorders such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and schizophrenia arise during early brain development. His work published in PNAS focuses specifically on the effects diminished 22q11.2 gene dosage has on cortical circuit development.

This research shows for the first time that genetic lesions known to be associated with autism and other behavioral diseases disrupt cellular and molecular mechanisms that ensure normal development of a key type of cortical neuron: the interneuron. LaMantia and his colleagues had found previously that one type of cortical neuron, the projection neuron, is not generated in appropriate numbers during development in a mouse model of 22q11 Deletion Syndrome. In the current study published in PNAS, LaMantia found that interneurons, while made in the right numbers at their birthplace outside of the cortex, are not able to move properly into the cortex where they are needed to control cortical circuit activity. The research shows that the main reason they don't move properly is due to diminished expression of activity of a key regulatory pathway for migration, the Cxcr4 cytokine receptor.

"This gives us two pieces of the puzzle for this genetic developmental disorder," said LaMantia. "These two pieces tell us that in very early development, those with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome do not make enough cells in one case, and do not put the other cells in the right place. This occurs not because of some degenerative change, but because the mechanisms that make these cells and put them in the right place during the first step of development have gone awry due to mutation."

The next step in LaMantia's research is to probe further into the molecular mechanisms that disrupt the proliferation of projection neurons and migration of interneurons. "If we understand that better and understand its consequences, we can go about fixing it," said LaMantia. "We want to understand why cortical circuits don't get built properly due to the genetic deletion of chromosome 22."


Contact: Lisa Anderson
George Washington University

Related biology news :

1. National Academy of Inventors names four UT Arlington professors as charter fellows
2. Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors name Environmental Engineering Science as its official journal
3. University of Tennessee engineering professor looks to whirligig beetle for bio-inspired robots
4. Increasing drought stress challenges vulnerable hydraulic system of plants, GW professor finds
5. GW professor to examine infections in HIV patients with federal grant
6. Michael Barnett of Boston College named Professor of the Year for Massachusetts
7. NJIT professor promotes building material of millennium: Autoclave aerated concrete
8. The IPCC Report on Climate Change - Swedish professor Thomas Sterner selected as 1 of the experts
9. Louisiana Tech University professor earns national honor from Society of American Foresters
10. New book on physics principles by Wayne State professor explains life as we know it
11. SMU professor Louis Jacobs honored with prestigious award from Texas science teachers
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, a ... that it has released a new version of its ... in North America have already ... v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF certified server ... already preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers include ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph ... explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business ... The Internet of Healthy Things . ... smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, ... care delivery, moving care from the hospital or doctor,s ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015 Today, LifeBEAM ... partnership with 2XU, a global leader in technical ... smart hat with advanced bio-sensing technology. The hat ... to monitor key biometrics to improve overall training ... the two companies will bring together the most advanced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ... today reported financial results for the quarter ended ... expressed in Canadian dollars and presented under International ... United States ," said Andrew Rae ... advancements regarding iCo-008 are not only value enriching ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical ... today announced that the company has set a new quarterly earnings ... on quarter growth posted for Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of ... Mexico , with the establishment of an ... --> United Kingdom and Mexico ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... SHPG ) announced today that Jeff ... 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in New York ... a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> SHPG ) announced ... in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in ... 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  Twist Bioscience, a company focused on ... Twist Bioscience chief executive officer, will present at ... 1, 2015 at 3:10 p.m. Eastern Time at The Lotte ... --> --> About ... is on Twitter. Sign up to follow our ...
Breaking Biology Technology: