Navigation Links
New study identifies key gene in development of connections between brain and spinal cord

A new study, presented at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology's (ACNP) Annual Meeting, has identified a specific gene that is necessary for the development of connections between the brain and the spinal cord. This research, conducted by Stanford University through a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), could be critical for future understanding of the development of the human brain and possibly the treatment of spinal cord injuries.

During fetal development, genes "instruct" nerve cells on how and where to develop. Researchers examined the plasticity of fetal cells to better understand at what developmental period cells are specialized (i.e., limited in their ability to take on new characteristics) or undifferentiated (i.e., able to be take on new function or characteristics).

In attempting to uncover key developmental moments in the brain, the team removed or "knocked out" the gene for Fezl, a DNA-binding protein, to observe its effect on brain development. Mice were used as the animal model because they serve as a powerful genetic representation of human brain circuitry. The major finding of the study was that in developing mice that lack Fezl, normal connections to the spinal cord failed to form. Instead, the brain cells that usually form the spinal cord made inappropriate connections to other parts of the brain. This result led the researchers to determine that Fezl is necessary for proper development of neural connections to the spinal cord.

"Normally, Fezl is required for certain brain cells to grow along the pathway that leads into the spinal cord. In the mice lacking the gene for Fezl, this pattern of spinal cord development was not observed," explained senior study author Susan McConnell, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University. "These findings could have important implications in the future treatment of spinal cord injuries."

Though these findings have yet to be applied in a clinical setting, it is possible that researchers could utilize the findings about Fezl in stem cell research attempting to stimulate neuron growth to the spinal cord in injured adults. This protein and the gene that controls its production could be essential in understanding how to regenerate connections to the spinal cord that are severed during injury, which results in paralysis.

"The discovery of Fezl is a critical finding in unlocking the intricacies of human brain development," noted McConnell. "However, there is still much research to be done in identifying the key target genes in the brain. Fezl is another critical step in piecing together a complete picture of brain and spinal cord development."


'"/>

Source:GYMR


Related biology news :

1. Bioartificial kidney under study at MCG
2. W.M. Keck Foundation funds study of friendly microbes
3. Yellowstone microbes fueled by hydrogen, according to U. of Colorado study
4. Genome-wide mouse study yields link to human leukemia
5. Clam embryo study shows pollutant mixture adversely affects nerve cell development
6. New imaging method gives early indication if brain cancer therapy is effective, U-M study shows
7. Same mutation aided evolution in many fish species, Stanford study finds
8. Sequencing of marine bacterium will help study of cell communication
9. Genetically modified rice in China benefits farmers health, study finds
10. A new study examines how shared pathogens affect host populations
11. NYU study reveals how brains immune system fights viral encephalitis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/12/2016)... 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a brand of ... results from the Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables ... consumers, receptivity to a program where they would receive ... insurance company. "We were surprised to see ... Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... GOTHENBURG, Sweden , April 28, 2016 ... 1,491.2 M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of ... Operating profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating ... SEK 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was ... , The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 2016  A new partnership announced today will ... decisions in a fraction of the time it ... high-value life insurance policies to consumers without requiring ... Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) ... pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... , ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network for electronics hardware design ... Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is to bring together inventors ... and brought to market. , The Design Lab is Supplyframe’s physical representation of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... from two Phase 1 clinical trials of its ... double-blind, placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies ... and pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy ... APL-2 subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 On Wednesday, June 22, ... down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower ... 2,085.45, down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on the following ... Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... BIND ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... of intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers ... The result of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting ...
Breaking Biology Technology: