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:5/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... On May 24, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected ... on May 4, would result in 23 million Americans losing their health insurance by ... Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). , “It is clear from the ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... Dr. ... is proud to announce a new, informational blog post on insurance options. If a ... checking insurance plans may help save time and money. Visiting an in-network provider for ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... ... Jack: Against All Odds”: the story of Coach Cactus Jack and the impact he ... creation of published author, Walter Hubbard, a retired wildlife and fisheries biologist and pharmacy ... Walter and Jane have three adult children and a granddaughter. Walter and ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... ... Altec Products, Inc., a leader in enterprise document management and ... in San Diego, CA. , At nVerge 2017, Altec will be highlighting ... their Sage ERP solutions by providing improved visibility and control to the entire document ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... STATEMENT OPPOSING PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S 2018 ... Trump’s budget, “A New Foundation for American Greatness—President's Budget FY 2018,” because it ... underserved populations, undermines productivity, and destroys the social safety net needed by hardworking ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/22/2017)... Fla. , May 22, 2017  As ... as a whole continue to make the revolutionary ... becomes increasingly important for ensuring positive patient outcomes ... industry stakeholders are shifting focus away from clinical ... and effects of long-term specialty drug therapy utilization ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... , May 15, 2017  Amy Baxter MD, ... industry leader in noninvasive pain relief, was awarded a ... magazine. Baxter was recognized at the MM&M Top ... New York City on May 10, 2017. ... the biopharma industry go "beyond the pill."  ...
(Date:5/11/2017)... 11, 2017  Thornhill Research Inc. ( ... an $8,049,024 USD five-year, firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-quantity/indefinite-delivery contract by ... Commercial Corporation (CCC) ( Ottawa, Ontario, Canada ... administer general anesthesia to patients requiring emergency medical ... US Marine Corps have been a longtime partner ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: