Navigation Links
Changes in nerve cells may contribute to the development of mental illness
Date:11/28/2012

Reduced production of myelin, a type of protective nerve fiber that is lost in diseases like multiple sclerosis, may also play a role in the development of mental illness, according to researchers at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The study is published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Myelin is an insulating material that wraps around the axon, the threadlike part of a nerve cell through which the cell sends impulses to other nerve cells. New myelin is produced by nerve cells called oligodendrocytes both during development and in adulthood to repair damage in the brain of people with diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS).

A new study led by Patrizia Casaccia, MD, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience, Genetics and Genomics; and Neurology at Mount Sinai, determined that depriving mice of social contact reduced myelin production, demonstrating that the formation of new oligodendrocytes is affected by environmental changes. This research provides further support to earlier evidence of abnormal myelin in a wide range of psychiatric disorders, including autism, anxiety, schizophrenia and depression.

"We knew that a lack of social interaction early in life impacted myelination in young animals but were unsure if these changes would persist in adulthood," said Dr. Casaccia, who is also Chief of the Center of Excellence for Myelin Repair at the Friedman Brain Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "Social isolation of adult mice causes behavioral and structural changes in neurons, but this is the first study to show that it causes myelin dysfunction as well."

Dr. Casaccia's team isolated adult mice to determine whether new myelin formation was compromised. After eight weeks, they found that the isolated mice showed signs of social withdrawal. Subsequent brain tissue analyses indicated that the socially isolated mice had lower-than-normal levels of myelin-forming oligodendrocytes in the prefrontal cortex, but not in other areas of the brain. The prefrontal cortex controls complex emotional and cognitive behavior.

The researchers also found changes in chromatin, the packing material for DNA. As a result, the DNA from the new oligodendrocytes was unavailable for gene expression.

After observing the reduction in myelin production in socially-isolated mice, Dr. Casaccia's team then re-introduced these mice into a social group. After four weeks, the social withdrawal symptoms and the gene expression changes were reversed.

"Our study demonstrates that oligodendrocytes generate new myelin as a way to respond to environmental stimuli, and that myelin production is significantly reduced in social isolation," said Dr. Casaccia. "Abnormalities occur in people with psychiatric conditions characterized by social withdrawal. Other disorders characterized by myelin loss, such as MS, often are associated with depression. Our research emphasizes the importance of maintaining a socially stimulating environment in these instances."

At Mount Sinai, Dr. Casaccia's laboratory is studying oligodendrocyte formation to identify therapeutic targets for myelin repair. They are screening newly-developed pharmacological compounds in brain cells from rodents and humans for their ability to form new myelin.

Dr. Casaccia is the recipient of the Neuroscience Javits Award by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a division of the National Institutes of Health, who also funded this research (R37-NS42925-10) along with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mount Sinai Press Office
newsmedia@mssm.edu
212-241-9200
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Teen Drinking May Boost Odds of Precancerous Breast Changes
2. Changes in gene expression may help explain high blood pressure in pregnancy
3. Brain Changes May Hamper Decision-Making in Old Age
4. Specific protein triggers changes in neurons in brain reward center linked to cocaine addiction
5. Molecular probes identify changes in fibronectin that may lead to disease
6. Dietary changes help some children with ADHD
7. Palliative care resource helps ease changes
8. Chronic cocaine use triggers changes in brains neuron structure
9. Eye Changes May Predict Heart Disease in Blacks With Diabetes
10. From One Generation to the Next, Dental Care Changes
11. Tiny Tots in the Dentists Chair Among Changes in Pediatric Dentistry
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... June 26, 2017 , ... A new and improved Orgasm-Shot ... look and feel about themselves and their sexual encounters. A unique medical practice ... leakage head on with a ground breaking medical technique aimed to give women ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... KICKICO , a protocol built on Ethereum for more ... catastrophic issues within funding campaigns. KICKICO developers are testing the platform, which will launch ... raising of funds through the power of many - has been around for about ...
(Date:6/25/2017)... ... ... lyric music video in Final Cut Pro X with ProLyric from Pixel Film Studios. Users ... to any song. ProLyric flies in the text for each section and it hovers around ... for optimal control. ProLyric makes editing any music video or text-based production easier than ever. ...
(Date:6/25/2017)... ... June 25, 2017 , ... CareSet Labs released the ... New Orleans. This is a new, greatly improved version of the Doctor Referral teaming ... requests by Fred Trotter and subsequently called the the “Doctor Referral Dataset” as released ...
(Date:6/24/2017)... ... June 24, 2017 , ... ... testing for medications in select Florida and Texas doctors' offices and clinics. This ... new application of genetic testing recognizes the role genes play in determining an ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/2/2017)...  NxStage Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq:  NXTM), a leading medical technology company ... demonstrating positive biochemical outcomes related to more frequent hemodialysis ... will be presented at the ERA-EDTA Congress being held ... . The research was conducted by ... Europe (KIHDNEy) Cohort team ...
(Date:5/30/2017)... May 30, 2017 DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a leading ... today announced that it will be presenting at the 7th annual ... PT. Erez Raphael , CEO, of DarioHealth will be giving ... be held on June 6th & 7th, 2017 at the Luxe ... small / micro-cap space. About ...
(Date:5/30/2017)... Therapix Biosciences Ltd. (Nasdaq: TRPX), a ... development of cannabinoid-based drugs, today announced that the ... three upcoming scientific and investor conferences in June: ... ... Wednesday, June 7 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: