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:3/30/2021)... , ... March 29, 2021 , ... ... the 21st Century , A Virtual Workshop Presented by WCG FDAnews and Cerulean ... 4:30 pm EDT, https://wcg.swoogo.com/modern-sop-and-quality-systems , Are one’s SOPs written for the ...
(Date:3/30/2021)... ... March 29, 2021 , ... According to data released ... reproductive age (13-44) in need of publicly funded contraception live in counties impacted by ... Colorado’s 64 counties have lost some of their Title X resources. , The ...
(Date:3/30/2021)... ... March 29, 2021 , ... Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), a ... confusion due to low health literacy today announces a new partnership with the ... work with ACAP’s member Safety Net Health Plans, those that provide comprehensive health ...
(Date:3/30/2021)... ... ... Dr. Colin Campbell is proud to announce the 1 year anniversary in their new state ... internal medicine and is a primary care specialist who has been practicing for 23 years. ... keep South Jersey healthy one patient at a time. , “Over the past year, Dr. ...
(Date:3/30/2021)... ... March 30, 2021 , ... The COVID-19 ... and survivors; their families; and their caregivers. Crossroads4Hope is addressing the needs of ... emotional support system, MyGo2Support, which meets needs of people impacted by cancer, no ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/30/2021)... ... March 29, 2021 , ... The University of Texas Health Science Center ... San Antonio Multispecialty and Research Hospital, a destination center for research and treatment of ... In a nod to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was held virtually. , William ...
(Date:3/30/2021)... ... March 29, 2021 , ... Iora Health ... primary care, has partnered with Devoted Health , one of the fastest-growing ... across Maricopa County and provides seniors with the highest-quality care and experience possible, ...
(Date:3/30/2021)... CITY (PRWEB) , ... March 29, 2021 , ... ... has joined the Vaccine Credential Initiative (VCI), a group bringing together leading health ... record of vaccination status, based on open, interoperable standards. By joining the VCI ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: