Navigation Links
Faulty development of immature brain cells causes hydrocephalus
Date:11/19/2012

Researchers at the University of Iowa have discovered a new cause of hydrocephalus, a devastating neurological disorder that affects between one and three of every 1,000 babies born. Working in mice, the researchers identified a cell signaling defect, which disrupts immature brain cells involved in normal brain development. By bypassing the defect with a drug treatment, the team was able to correct one aspect of the cells' development and reduce the severity of the hydrocephalus. The findings were published online Nov. 18 in the journal Nature Medicine.

"Our findings identify a new molecular mechanism underlying the development of neonatal hydrocephalus," says Calvin Carter, a student in the UI Graduate Program in Neuroscience and first author on the study. "By targeting this defective signaling pathway in mice using an FDA-approved drug, we were able to successfully treat this disease non-invasively."

Hydrocephalus, sometimes called water on the brain, involves build-up of fluid inside brain spaces known as ventricles. If the excess fluid is not removed, the ventricles expand, which can cause serious brain damage or death. Although hydrocephalus is one of the most common types of brain abnormality in newborn infants, treatment has not changed much over the last half century and involves invasive brain surgery to drain the fluid. Complications are common and the procedure often fails, meaning that children often need repeated surgeries.

"This disease is devastating and costly (almost $2 billion annually), and current treatment options are extremely limited," says Carter, who also is a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow. "Development of non-invasive therapies would revolutionize treatment of this condition."

Carter notes that reducing the size of the ventricles in mice is a clinically significant accomplishment because reducing ventricular size in humans is associated with better patient outcome.

Working in a mouse model of hydrocephalus, the research team honed in on a specific group of immature cells called neural precursor cells (NPCs) that give rise to most types of brain cells, including neurons and glia cells. One particular subgroup of NPCs, which has only recently been identified and is involved in the development of normal ventricles, became the focus of the team's study.

During brain development, this population of immature cells proliferates and dies off in a precisely coordinated process to produce normal ventricles.

The team discovered an imbalance in the proliferation and survival of these cells, which leads to hydrocephalus in the experimental mouse model.

The imbalance is caused by problems in signaling pathways that prompts these NPCs to die or to proliferate. Both processes are abnormal in the mouse model the cells died at twice the rate seen in normal mouse brains and proliferated at only half the normal rate.

Having identified the problem, the researcher then showed that treatment with lithium bypasses one aspect of the abnormal signaling and restores normal proliferation of the precursor cells, which in turn reduces the hydrocephalus in the mice.

"Our findings demonstrate for the first time that neural progenitor cells are involved in the development of neonatal hydrocephalus," Carter says. "We are also the first to manipulate the development of these progenitor cells and successfully treat neonatal hydrocephalus, a feat which opens the door to novel treatment strategies in treating this disease and other neurological diseases."

Because the study identifies cell signaling defects as a cause of hydrocephalus, the findings pave the way for identification of additional signaling pathways involved in the development of this disease, and lay the groundwork for developing non-invasive therapies to treat this disease.

The finding also suggests that successful treatment of hydrocephalus will rely on individualized treatment strategies based on the particular type of hydrocephalus a patient has rather than using a single approach for treating hydrocephalus regardless of its molecule or genetic causes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Brown
jennifer-l-brown@uiowa.edu
319-356-7124
University of Iowa Health Care
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Drug kills cancer cells by restoring faulty tumor suppressor
2. Misidentified and contaminated cell lines lead to faulty cancer science
3. Scientists discover how iron levels and a faulty gene cause bowel cancer
4. 2 genetic deletions in human genome linked to the development of aggressive prostate cancer
5. Kudos for 3 NJIT Enterprise Development Center high-tech companies
6. 2 repressor genes identified as essential for placental development
7. Louisiana Tech University professor earns NSF Early Career Development grant
8. Advanced genetic screening method may speed vaccine development
9. New biospecimens management system in development
10. Developmental Woes Common in Siblings of Children With Autism
11. Mutations impair childhood growth and development by disrupting organization of chromosome pairs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare ... scenic Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare ... activity. The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the ... is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, ... he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his career as a naval ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ... products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. ... so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP , a leader in ... 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced ... 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... In the United States, single-family home owners pay ... York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, Connecticut, and California—the average is $7,000 a ... rates, which contributes to the relatively lower cost of living in places like ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... Sept. 25, 2017   Montrium , an ... solutions, today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files & ... NL)—announced that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected ... and TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European contract ... to increase transparency to enable greater collaboration with ...
(Date:9/22/2017)...  As the latest Obamacare repeal effort moves is ... (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) medical device ... industry is in an odd place.  The industry wants ... tax on medical device sales passed along with the ... increased visits and hospital customers with the funding to ...
(Date:9/19/2017)...   ZirMed Inc ., a recognized leader in cloud-based ... has been ranked #1 by its users for the seventh ... User Survey. ZirMed was recognized as the top-ranked end-to-end revenue ... centers over 200 beds and holds one of the longest ... history. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: