Navigation Links
Gene mutations in mice mimic human-like sleep disorder, UT Southwestern researchers find

DALLAS May 20, 2008 Mutations in two genes that control electrical excitability in a portion of the brain involved in sleep create a human-like insomnia disorder in mice, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found. The findings may help scientists better understand the disorder and provide an animal model for developing treatments.

This is one of the most dramatic sleep-disturbance mutations, said Dr. Rolf Joho, associate professor of neuroscience and senior author of the paper, which appears online today and in the May 21 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The mice sleep half as much as normal mice.

The mutant mice appeared to have a condition similar to a human disorder called sleep maintenance insomnia, in which sufferers can get to sleep, but dont remain at rest for long.

Were trying to look at where in the brain this originates, Dr. Joho said. The same mechanism could be involved in many neurophysiological disorders.

The researchers focused on two genes that encode molecules known as ion channels. An ion channel is a pore that spans a cells membrane, opening and closing to allow charged atoms, or ions, to cross the membrane. The coordinated opening and closing of various ion channels allows nerve cells to carry electrical signals.

In the current study, the researchers examined two channels that allow potassium ions to cross the cell membrane. The researchers genetically engineered mice to have defects in the ion channels Kv3.1 and Kv3.3, which normally open and close much faster than other potassium channels.

These channels are common in a portion of the brain called the thalamic reticular nucleus, which is thought to act as a pacemaker during sleep, controlling slow-wave sleep the deep, restful sleep that occurs without dreams.

The mutant mice slept only 50 percent to 60 percent as much as normal mice. Measurements of their brain waves showed that they entered slow-wave sleep, but only for short periods before waking again.

The mice did not readily get restful sleep even after sleep deprivation, the researchers found.

In future studies, the researchers hope to focus on the Kv3.1 mutation alone, which they believe, based on previous studies might be the primary factor in the sleep disturbances, while Kv3.3 mutations might affect muscle coordination.

The researchers also plan to investigate ways to restore function of Kv3.1 with potential drugs. So far, there are no medications that affect this ion channel.


Contact: Aline McKenzie
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Related biology news :

1. Rare genetic mutations protect against hypertension
2. CSHL scientists part of team that discovers role of rare gene mutations in schizophrenia
3. Should children be permitted to get genetic testing for BRCA 1/2 mutations?
4. New study reveals for first time how BRCA1 mutations cause breast cancer
5. Genetic variant mimics effect of heart failure medications
6. Researchers mimic bacteria to produce magnetic nanoparticles
7. Zoologists challenge longstanding theory that eyespots mimic the eyes of predators enemies
8. Team of chemists receives $5 million grant to develop enzyme mimics
9. 4 days of REM sleep deprivation contributes to a reduction of cell proliferation in rats
10. Snoozing worms help Penn researchers explain the evolution of sleep
11. Journal Sleep: Insomniacs are more likely to report a family history of the sleep disorder
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Gene mutations in mice mimic human-like sleep disorder, UT Southwestern researchers find
(Date:4/18/2017)... April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based ... edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. ... by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec ... show at the Las Vegas Convention Center ... Click here ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... offering. ... market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period ... has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs ... growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017 Today HYPR ... that the server component of the HYPR platform is ... providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million users across ... manufacturers of connected home product suites and physical access ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Surgical Wound Market with the addition of its newest module, US Hemostats & ... market for thrombin hemostats, absorbable hemostats, fibrin sealants, synthetic sealants and biologic sealants ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... LINDA, CA (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 ... ... to upregulate any gene in its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding ... (CRISPRa) system with small RNA guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS , Oct. 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a ... of a nationwide oncology Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which ... growing need for communication among health care professionals to enhance ... physicians, nurses, office staff, and other health care professionals to ... for breast cancer. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... Singh Biotechnology today announced that the ... its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3) B VHH13 single ... the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 and inhibit its function. Dysregulation of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: