Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Intestinal protein may have role in ADHD, other neurological disorders

Date:
August 11, 2011
Source:
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Summary:
A biochemical pathway long associated with diarrhea and intestinal function may provide a new therapeutic target for treating ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) other neuropsychiatric disorders, according to scientists. Researchers discovered the pathway's key protein is also expressed in critical areas of the brain and its activity helps regulate attention and activity level in mice.

A biochemical pathway long associated with diarrhea and intestinal function may provide a new therapeutic target for treating ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) other neuropsychiatric disorders, according to a team of scientists from China and the United States reporting Aug. 11 in Science.

Related Articles


Scientists have for the last quarter century studied the intestinal membrane receptor protein, guanylyl cyclase-C (GC-C) for its role in diarrheal disease and other intestinal functions, according to Mitchell Cohen, M.D., U.S. author on the study and director of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. In fact, it had been thought that GC-C was found primarily in the intestine.

In the current study, scientists in China who collaborated with Dr. Cohen discovered that the receptor is also expressed in critical areas of the brain. The senior author on the study is Dr. Minmin Luo, a researcher at the National Institute of Biological Sciences and Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Using a mouse model developed in Dr. Ralph Giannella's laboratory at the University of Cincinnati, in which the GC-C receptor is deleted, or knocked out, the researchers found the mice exhibit hyperactivity and attention deficits. It is the first time that GC-C has been linked to neuropsychiatric disorder, according to the researchers.

"We show that the neurons selectively express GC-C and that its activation amplifies the excitatory responses mediated by other receptors on dopamine neurons in the midbrain," said Dr. Luo. "Working through a protein kinase called PKG, GC-C activity increases brain dopamine levels and thus regulate mouse attention and activity level."

When the researchers treated the GC-C knockout mice with amphetamine-based ADHD medication and a PKG activator, it reversed their hyperactive, inattentive behavior.

"The results indicate important behavioral and physiological functions for the GC-C/PKG signaling pathway in the brain," said Dr. Luo. "The data also suggest new therapeutic targets for neuropsychiatric disorders related to malfunctions of midbrain dopamine receptors."

One of the most prevalent human behavioral disorders, ADHD has been linked to imbalances in the dopamine system. The researchers noted in the study that its findings -- mice exhibiting reduced dopamine levels and related behavioral problems -- are consistent with the biochemical characteristics of human ADHD.

"This could make the GC-C knockout mouse a good research model for ADHD and other behavioral disorders," said Dr. Cohen. "Efforts to develop activators or inhibitors of the GC-C/PKG signaling pathway may lead to novel treatments for other disorders, such schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease and addiction."

The first author on the study is Rong Gong, who is in the joint graduate program of Peking Union Medical College and the National Institute of Biological Sciences in Beijing. Other institutions collaborating on the study include: the College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University and the Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics at the China Academy of Sciences in Wuhan, China.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. "Intestinal protein may have role in ADHD, other neurological disorders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811142816.htm>.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. (2011, August 11). Intestinal protein may have role in ADHD, other neurological disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811142816.htm
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. "Intestinal protein may have role in ADHD, other neurological disorders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811142816.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
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