Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Activity In Brain Synapses Linked To Developmental Abnormalities With Schizophrenia Gene

Date:
May 25, 2007
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
Researchers have identified a function of neuregulin1, a gene previously linked to schizophrenia but whose role in the disease was unknown.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) researchers have identified a function of neuregulin1 (NRG1), a gene previously linked to schizophrenia but whose role in the disease was unknown. "We found that when this gene or this pathway is impaired," explained CSHL's Bo Li. "It starts a chain reaction negatively impacting synapses in the brain which contribute to the abnormal development of brain circuits and may lead to schizophrenia."

By discovering the connections between genes and how they impact synapses and circuits in the brain, research is guiding the development of new strategies to diagnose and treat neurological disease. Published on May 24, 2007 in the journal Neuron, this latest research supports the hypothesis that schizophrenia is a disease that results from multiple factors, including genetic defects and developmental abnormalities in the brain. A lynchpin in the development of the disease is the brain's neurotransmitter system known as the glutamate system. When the glutamate system is suppressed it leads to abnormal brain development and schizophrenic symptoms.

Unlocking the mystery of NRG1 and its critical function in the normal development of the glutamate system was the result of a unique combination of technologies at CSHL. Under the direction of CSHL's Neuroscience Research Program Chair, Robert Malinow, M.D., Ph.D., researchers inform their study of diseased brains by the ongoing study of normal brains. "The ability to finally identify the functionality of NRG1 was possible here because of access to powerful technology that combined the ability to manipulate individual genes, to study the very structure of the glutamate synapse with a two-photon microscope, and to perform functional studies using electrophysiology."

Li hopes that his research will stimulate more exploration of the functions of NRG1 in the brain. "This gene and its pathway also have implications for other neurological diseases such as bipolar disorder. Knowing the cellular and molecular mechanisms of NRG1, we can now more intensely study the impact on complex brain circuits that define the aberrant behavior of these diseases," said Li.

Article Authors: Bo Li, Ran-Sook Woo, Lin Mei, and Roberto Malinow.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Activity In Brain Synapses Linked To Developmental Abnormalities With Schizophrenia Gene." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070524153320.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2007, May 25). Activity In Brain Synapses Linked To Developmental Abnormalities With Schizophrenia Gene. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070524153320.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Activity In Brain Synapses Linked To Developmental Abnormalities With Schizophrenia Gene." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070524153320.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins