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:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... Two renowned photographers, Robert Caplin (New ... adventure on the island, June 14-19, 2016, hosted by Four Seasons Resort Maui at ... After a successful debut in 2015, the Maui Photo Expedition workshop will ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... Atlanta, G.A. (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 ... ... tile and grout cleaning and sealing company , is proud to announce that ... for their superior levels of customer service. The hard surface restoration franchises received ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... St. Petersburg, FL (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... Shark Finds ... of a new DRTV campaign with GRIP-DRY. , GRIP-DRY is a newly patented product that ... carts. Golfers who play in the wet and early morning dew or right after a ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... CURE Media Group ... officially launched the Multiple Myeloma Heroes Awards event , which will annually honor ... lives of patients with MM. The MM Heroes Awards nomination process is ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... Brenntag Specialties, Inc.(BSI) , is ... & Beverage and Dietary Supplement market segments across the western ... geographies east of the Rocky Mountains since 2012. Consistent performance in business ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... Inc. (NASDAQ: MSON ), an international surgical ... therapeutic ultrasonic products for spine surgery, skull-based surgery, ... other surgical applications, today announced financial results for ... fiscal year 2016 ended December 31, 2015. ... Highlights for the second quarter and first half ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... 2016 QGEN ; ... Abschluss eines Kooperationsvertrags mit 10x Genomics für ... den Bereichen Next-Generation-Sequencing (NGS), Single-Cell-Biology und Bioinformatik ... Prime Standard: QIA) gab heute den Abschluss ... Entwicklung und Förderung umfassender Lösungen in den ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... --  AllCare Plus Pharmacy announced today that it ... ® for Home Care Accreditation by ... Seal of Approval ® is a symbol of ... and effective care.  --> ... on-site survey in January 2016. The survey reflected compliance ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: