Navigation Links
Watching the developing brain, scientists glean clues on neurological disorder
Date:11/13/2012

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. As the brain develops, each neuron must find its way to precisely the right spot to weave the intricate network of links the brain needs to function. Like the wiring in a computer, a few misplaced connections can throw off functioning for an entire segment of the brain.

A new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine reveals how some nerve cells, called interneurons, navigate during the development of the cerebral cortex. Mutations in a key gene behind this navigation system underlie a rare neurological disorder called Joubert syndrome; a condition linked with autism spectrum disorders and brain structure malformations.

The study was published online on Nov. 12, 2012 by the journal Developmental Cell.

"We were trying to understand how neurons get to the right place at the right time during brain development," said senior study author Eva Anton, PhD, a professor in the UNC Neuroscience Center and the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology at the UNC School of Medicine.

To do that, the UNC researchers and their collaborator, Dr. Tamara Caspary, at Emory University tracked brain development in mice with and without a gene called Arl13b. They found that the gene, when functioning normally, allows interneurons to use an appendage called the primary cilium as a sensor.

These appendages are found on many types of cells, but scientists did not previously know what they were doing on developing neurons.

"We found that primary cilia play an important role in guiding neurons to their appropriate places during development so that the neurons can wire up appropriately later on," said Anton. "It's like an antenna that allows the neuron to read the signals that are out there and navigate to the right target location."

Neurons in mice without the Arl13b gene or expressing mutant Arl13b found in Joubert syndrome patients essentially had a broken antenna, causing the cells to get lost on the way to their destinations.

Variants of the Arl13b gene are known to cause Joubert syndrome, which is characterized by brain malformations, abnormal eye and tongue movements, low muscle tone and mental retardation. This is one of the first studies to uncover how mutations of this gene actually disrupt brain development.

"Ultimately, if you're going to come up with therapeutic solutions, it's important to understand the biology of the disease," said Anton. "This contributes to our understanding of the biological processes that are disrupted in Joubert syndrome patients."


'/>"/>

Contact: Les Lang
llang@med.unc.edu
919-966-9366
University of North Carolina Health Care
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Watching the cogwheels of the biological clock in living cells
2. Family history of liver cancer increases risk of developing the disease
3. Research4Life greatly expands peer-reviewed research available to developing world
4. Medbox Developing a Patent Pending Wall-Mounted Biometric Kiosk for Storage of Sensitive Medicine Samples and Supplies for Doctors Offices.
5. Agricultural expert outlines path for developing nations to double food production, meet 2050 demand
6. VTT and GE Healthcare developing novel biomarkers to predict Alzheimers disease
7. UMass Amherst biochemists developing tools to stop plague and other bacterial threats
8. Developing world has less than 5 percent chance of meeting UN child hunger target, study estimates
9. Developing policy on moving threatened species called a grand challenge for conservation
10. UC Riverside developing biofuel formulations for California
11. Students create low-cost biosensor to detect contaminated water in developing nations
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Watching the developing brain, scientists glean clues on neurological disorder
(Date:4/13/2017)... 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing ... feature emerging and evolving technology through its 3D Printing ... run alongside the expo portion of the event and ... demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D printing and ... manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards and Mr. ... the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief Executive Officer said," ... and benefiting from their considerable expertise as we move forward ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , a ... the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has ... the linking of an iris image with a face ... represents the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... , ... August 15, 2017 , ... Kapstone Medical ... 10 years of successes helping medical technology companies and inventors develop and safeguard their ... renowned full-service national engineering firm with a portfolio of clients in the United States ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... new family of 6” modular downlights designed to stay tightly sealed and perform ... areas where damp and wet location listings just aren't enough, such as: hospitals; ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... 14, 2017 , ... Every year, millions of dollars are ... community have recently come together to address this antibody crisis and develop standards ... , The team at Thermo Fisher Scientific has arranged for an ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... ... ... A staple in the community for more than 60 years, Bill Miller ... a new digital marketing strategy and updated logo. , As part of the initiative ... the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center for the month of August. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: