Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Saving the brain's white matter with mutated mice

Date:
August 17, 2010
Source:
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Summary:
Scientists are developing laboratory mice which carry the Vanishing White Matter (VWM) mutation. This important new development allows for new research on VWM diseases such as multiple sclerosis, leading to a deeper understanding of the condition.

Vanishing White Matter (VWM) disease is a devastating condition that involves the destruction of brain myelin due to a mutation in a central factor. To understand the disease and test potential treatments that could apply to other disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, Prof. Orna Elroy-Stein of Tel Aviv University's Department of Cell Research and Immunology is leading a scientific breakthrough by developing laboratory mice which carry the VWM mutation -- an important new tool.

The mice harbor a mutation of the eIF2B enzyme, which regulates protein synthesis in every cell throughout the body. The key to the new development, says Prof. Elroy-Stein, was the use of genetically-engineered embryonic stem cells to introduce the mutation.

The brain is made up of two components: grey matter, or nerves, and white matter, or glial cells which support the nerves and produce myelin, which wraps around and protects nerve extensions. Recently described in the journal Brain, the creation of these mutated mice allows for new research on VWM diseases, which trigger loss of myelin in the brain, leading to paralysis and possible death.

A new breed of mouse and man

Until now, VWM researchers did not have a comparable animal model with which to study the disease. Now, for the first time, researchers can use a living organism to follow the exact process of myelin destruction, providing valuable information about the molecular mechanisms of the disease, which are currently unknown.

The big surprise in this discovery, she says, is that the gene mutation impacts only the white matter of the brain, rather than causing disease throughout the body. This will allow researchers to learn about myelin formation and maintenance.

"For the first time ever, we can follow the regulated expression of the protein components of myelin," explains Prof. Elroy-Stein, whose techniques include magnetic resonance imaging to investigate what's happening in the brains of the mice.

Not only will this discovery lead to a greater understanding of diseases that affect the brain's white matter, the mice are also an invaluable testing ground for new treatments. But according to Prof. Elroy-Stein, understanding the disease is the first step. "In order to develop effective therapies, one has to understand the mechanisms," she says.

Prof. Elroy-Stein notes that this is an entirely TAU-led project. The team of researchers include her Ph.D. students Michal Geva, Yuval Cabilly, Liraz Marom, Nina Mindroul, and Gali Raini; lab technician Dalia Pinchasi; and Dr. Yaniv Assaf of Tel Aviv University's Department of Neurobiology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Friends of Tel Aviv University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Saving the brain's white matter with mutated mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100817122407.htm>.
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. (2010, August 17). Saving the brain's white matter with mutated mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100817122407.htm
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Saving the brain's white matter with mutated mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100817122407.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) New England farms are seeing a surge in younger farm hands as the 'buy local' food movement grows across the country. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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