Navigation Links
Normal role for schizophrenia risk gene identified
Date:9/9/2007

How the gene that has been pegged as a major risk factor for schizophrenia and other mood disorders that affect millions of Americans contributes to these diseases remains unclear. However, the results of a new study by Hopkins researchers and their colleagues, appearing in Cell this week, provide a big clue by showing what this gene does in normal adult brains.

It turns out that this gene, called disc1, makes a protein that serves as a sort of musical conductor for newly made nerve cells in the adult brain, guiding them to their proper locations at the appropriate tempo so they can seamlessly integrate into our complex and intertwined nervous system. If the DISC1 protein doesnt operate properly, the new nerves go hyper.

DISC1 plays a broader role in the development of adult nerves than we anticipated, says Hongjun Song, Ph.D., an associate professor at Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering. Some previous studies hinted that DISC1 is important for nerve migration and extension, but our study in mice suggests it is critical for more than that and may highlight why DISC1 is associated with multiple psychiatric disorders.

Almost every part of the nerve integration process speeds up, adds fellow author Guo-li Ming, M.D., Ph.D., also an associate professor at ICE. The new nerves migrate and branch out faster than normal, form connections with neighbors more rapidly, and are even more sensitive to electrical stimulation.

While it may not be obvious why high-speed integration would be detrimental, Song notes that because of the complexity of the brain, timing is critical to ensure that new nerves are prepared to plug into the neural network.

Ming, Song and their collaborators at the National Institutes of Health and UC Davis tracked the abnormal movements of the hyperactive nerve cells by injecting a specially designed virus into a part of a mouse brain known as the hippocampus -a region important for learning and memory and therefore quite relevant to psychiatric disorders. The virus would only infect newly born cells and would both knock down the expression of the disc1 gene and make the nerves glow under a microscope.

Combined with other recent Hopkins research that successfully engineered mouse models that have abnormal DISC1 and can effectively reproduce schizophrenia symptoms such as anxiety, hyperactivity, apathy and altered senses, these current findings teasing out the normal role of this protein may help unravel the causes for this complex disease

Song and Ming add that their studies in the hippocampus - one of the few places where new nerves are made in the adult brain - might answer why symptoms typically first appear in adults despite the genetic basis of many psychiatric illnesses. They plan on continuing their mouse work to try and find those answers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nick Zagorski
nzagors1@jhmi.edu
443-287-2251
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Anti-Cancer Drug Restores Normal Cell Growth
2. Dyslexia due to cerebellum abnormality
3. Cleft lip and palate are due to abnormality in brain structure
4. Early Detection Of Facial Abnormalities in a Fetus
5. Abnormal Brain Structure One Of The Reasons For Depression in Adolescents
6. Antidepressants Could Lead To Abnormal Bleeding
7. Obese children may have abnormalities of lipoproteins
8. Test for prenatal chromosomal abnormalities using cervical swab
9. People with abnormal heart rhythms must avoid fish oil
10. Normal Blood Pressure Could Add Over 5 Years To Your Life
11. Abnormal heart rate and depression may increase death risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network ... advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City ... and reached a social audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at ... of the most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The ... that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader ... been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). ... the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States ... creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have ... thirty years in the Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, ... ... and Dr. Cheng, are now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus ... sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... Sept. 28, 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ... conference call and webcast on Friday, November 3, 2017, ... and ending at approximately 8:30 a.m. (CDT) / 9:30 ... company,s 2017 financial performance and guidance for 2018, Hill-Rom ... to enhance operational performance, and long-range financial outlook through ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... NEW YORK , Sept. 27, 2017  DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: ... data solutions, today announced that its MyDario product is expected to appear ... listings for when The Dr. Oz Show airs in your area: ... The nine-time Emmy award-winning, The ... ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017 Janssen Biotech, Inc. ... response letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... of sirukumab for the treatment of moderately to severely ... additional clinical data are needed to further evaluate the ... severely active RA. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: