Navigation Links
Children's National researchers make breakthrough in understanding white matter development
Date:9/29/2011

WASHINGTON, DCThrough the identification of a gene's impact on a signaling pathway, scientists at Children's National Medical Center continue to make progress in understanding the mechanics of a key brain developmental process: growth and repair of white matter, known as myelination. The study, published online in the September 2011 online edition of The Journal of Neuroscience, identified Sox17 as the gene that helps regulate the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway during the transition of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, or immature brain cells, to a more mature, differentiated state where they generate myelin.

"This is the first time the Sox17 gene has been identified as a regulator of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway during myelination," said Li-Jin Chew, PhD, lead author of the study. "Our findings indicate that loss of Sox17 over-stimulates the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway and keeps oligodendrocyte progenitor cells from maturing and producing myelin, potentially causing developmental disabilities in developing babies and children."

Myelin is the protective material around the axons of neurons; in mass these types of ensheathed neurons are collectively called white matter. White matter serves as the primary messaging "network" that conducts signals rapidly between gray matter areas. Without it, the brain does not function properly. Myelination, or growth of white matter, in humans begins in utero at around 5 months of gestation and continues throughout the first two decades of life. Myelination can be impaired for a number of reasons, most commonly intrauterine infection, reduced or interrupted blood flow (which carries oxygen and nutrients) to the forming infant brain, or perinatal injury. As a result, white matter doesn't develop the way that it should or is somehow damaged, resulting in mental retardation and developmental disabilities. "From here we plan to look more closely at the parts of the pathway that Sox17 regulates. We'll be able to understand the crucial molecular events that occur during oligodendrocyte development and disease," stated Vittorio Gallo, PhD, director of the Center for Neuroscience Research. "This is an incredibly exciting discovery that puts us closer to figuring out the underlying cause of white matter diseases. It also means that we may eventually understand how we could influence these pathways and possibly ease white matter damage or deficiency in our patients."

Myelination, white matter growth and repair, and the study of complex mechanisms of prenatal brain development are a key focus of the Center for Neuroscience Research at Children's National, which also houses the White Matter Diseases Program, one of the largest clinical programs in the country for treating children with disorders that cause the brain's white matter to degenerate.


'/>"/>

Contact: Emily Hartman
ehartman@childrensnational.org
202-476-4500
Children's National Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Researcher at Childrens Hospital LA discovers way to overcome radiation resistance in leukemia
2. Parents Want Electronic Access to Their Childrens Docs: Survey
3. Austen BioInnovation Institutes Accountable Care Community initiative gains national support
4. Penn veterinarian Ralph Brinster awarded National Medal of Science
5. New national poll: 89 percent of women said mammograms vital to their health
6. National leader in nurse midwifery to present award
7. Abiraterone acetate improves fatigue in prostate cancer patients, says international clinical trial
8. National Cancer Institute establishes $11.3 million center at Case Western Reserve
9. Health Impact Project director comments on new National Research Council report
10. St. Michaels echocardiology lab awarded international seal of approval
11. UN Member States jeopardize international progress on non-communicable disease epidemic
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... agency serving communities in the greater Dallas, Miami, and Raleigh regions, is organizing ... fighting to overcome a rare and deadly chromosome abnormality. , After struggling since ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The American Board of Family ... next President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon his retirement. ... 1, 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon assuming the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... N.Y (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori ... became a member of ElderCounsel, a national organization of elder law and special needs ... changing laws and rules. It also provides a forum to network with elder law ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the ... business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New ... the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 million. To watch the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... DevOps and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center ... Purchase Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... Pa. , Oct. 10, 2017   West ... in innovative solutions for injectable drug administration, today shared ... West,s ID Adapter for improving the intradermal administration of ... Fourth Skin Vaccination Summit in May 2017 by Dr. ... Lead, Polio Department, World Health Organization (WHO), and recently ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... South Korea , Oct. 4, 2017  South ... its next-generation CPR training aide "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The ... chest compression during cardiac arrests with better efficiency compared ... It also offers real-time feedback on efficacy of the ... The crowdfunding campaign has a goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: ... Consulting, LLC , and named its founder as Diplomat,s ... Tennessee , will operate under Diplomat ... service offerings for health care partners to include IT ... "In an interoperable world, technology delivers comprehensive ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: