Navigation Links
Mice with big brains provide insight into brain regeneration and developmental disorders
Date:5/15/2012

Scientists at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) and the University of Ottawa (uOttawa) have discovered that mice that lack a gene called Snf2l have brains that are 35 per cent larger than normal. The research, led by Dr. David Picketts and published in the prestigious journal Developmental Cell, could lead to new approaches to stimulate brain regeneration and may provide important insight into developmental disorders such as autism and Rett syndrome.

Dr. Picketts and his team created the mice to learn more about Snf2l, which is known to play a role in packaging DNA and determining which genes are active versus inactive. They found that the mutant mice were completely normal, except that they had larger brains, more cells in all areas of the brain, and more actively dividing brain stem cells.

"This research represents a fundamental advance in our understanding of how the brain develops, and it also has important practical implications," said Dr. Picketts, Senior Scientist at OHRI and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at uOttawa. "If we could identify drugs that regulate Snfl2 activity, these could potentially be used to stimulate neural stem cells to help regenerate and repair damage in people who have suffered brain injuries or strokes. We're still at the early stages of this research, but the possibilities are very exciting."

The Snf2l mutant mice are also providing insight into developmental disorders that are associated with changes in brain size. For example, by studying these mice, Dr. Picketts and his team found that Snf2l controls the expression of a gene called Foxg1, which causes the intellectual disability disorder Rett syndrome in some people. While the mutant mice have high levels of Foxg1 and large brains, people with Rett syndrome lack Foxg1 and have small brains. This research shows that Snf2l and Foxg1 work against each other to balance brain size. Autism is also commonly associated with changes in brain size (one third of autistic individuals have a larger brain), however no studies have yet provided a direct link between Snf2l and autism.

"The connections between Snf2l and brain developmental disorders are intriguing," said Dr. Picketts. "We're looking forward to further unravelling these connections and hopefully applying this research to help people who suffer from these conditions."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Ganton
jganton@ohri.ca
613-614-5253
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Old and young brains rely on different systems to remember emotional content
2. Rice University psychologist finds womens brains recognize, encode smell of male sexual sweat
3. Our brains make their own marijuana: Were all pot heads deep inside
4. Snakes and how they helped our big brains evolve
5. Monkey brains signal the desire to explore
6. Scientists remove amyloid plaques from brains of live animals with Alzheimers disease
7. Stimulus grant of nearly $9 million to UC San Diego funds big study of young brains
8. Ladder-walking locusts show big brains arent always best
9. Bigger not necessarily better, when it comes to brains
10. New neuroimaging analysis technique identifies impact of Alzheimers disease gene in healthy brains
11. Psychopaths brains wired to seek rewards, no matter the consequences
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Mice with big brains provide insight into brain regeneration and developmental disorders
(Date:6/22/2016)... 2016 On Monday, the Department of Homeland ... share solutions for the Biometric Exit Program. The Request ... Protection (CBP), explains that CBP intends to add biometrics ... the United States , in order to deter ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382209LOGO ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems ... seamlessly log work hours, for employers to make sure the right employees are actually ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160609/377486LOGO ... ... ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016   The Weather Company , an IBM Business ... industry-first capability in which consumers will be able to interact ... questions via voice or text and receive relevant information about ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that can ... personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... December ... ... that it will share findings demonstrating the value of DNA microarray comparative ... at this year’s San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Using molecular test results ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... The Conference Forum has ... three days and will take place on February 1-3, 2017 at the Roosevelt Hotel ... Gulley (NCI), the program provides a unique 360-degree approach, which addresses the most up-to-date ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... companies dedicated to collaboratively developing improved chemistry, manufacturing and control technologies for ... online UHPLC, with robust, probe-based sampling. , Online liquid chromatography analysis ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016 The immunohistochemistry (IHC) market is ... CAGR of 7.3% during the forecast period of 2016 to 2021 ... segment accounted for the largest share of immunohistochemistry (IHC) market, by ... , , ... (IHC) market spread across 225 pages, profiling 10 companies and supported ...
Breaking Biology Technology: