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:2/21/2017)... and PORTLAND, Ore. , ... and the Avamere Family of Companies (Avamere Health Services, ... announced a six-month research study that will apply the ... eldercare at senior living and health centers. By analyzing ... hopes to gain insights into physical and environmental conditions, ...
(Date:2/13/2017)...  RSA Conference -- RSA, a Dell Technologies business, ... enhance fraud detection and investigation across digital environments ... & Risk Intelligence Suite. The new platform is ... from internal and external sources as well as ... from targeted cybercrime attacks. "Fraudsters are ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... Feb. 8, 2017 About Voice Recognition Biometrics ... match it against a stored voiceprint template. Acoustic ... cadence, and tone are compared to distinguish between ... installation, as most PCs already have a microphone ... Voice recognition biometrics are most likely to be ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 MarketNewsUpdates.com News Commentary  ... The traditional ways ... pressured as of late due to the rise of the ... a dramatic impact on patient,s quality of life as Biotech ... identifying new forms of opioid formulations that prevent abuse. Biotech ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 22, 2017   VWR ... of product and service solutions to laboratory ... has acquired EPL Archives, Inc., an international ... the entire regulated product research, development and ... storage and ancillary services. EPL Archives is ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 21, 2017 , ... Proper glycosylation is ... the desired increase and/or decrease in antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity or complement-dependent cytotoxicity, there ... therapeutic antibodies. , To meet this demand, the team at SCIEX has ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 21, 2017 , ... The Conference Forum has announced the ... be held on May 10-11, 2017, at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston, MA. The ... Medical Officer peer-to-peer learning, benchmarking and support. , “The Chief Medical Officer faces a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: