Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor: Finding may have implications for Rett Syndrome, other neurological disorders

Date:
January 28, 2012
Source:
Oregon Health & Science University
Summary:
Researchers have discovered that a molecule critical to the development and plasticity of nerve cells -- brain-derived neurotrophic factor -- is severely lacking in brainstem neurons in mutations leading to Rett syndrome, a neurological developmental disorder. The finding has implications for the treatment of neurological disorders, including Rett syndrome that affects one in 10,000 baby girls.

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have discovered that a molecule critical to the development and plasticity of nerve cells -- brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) -- is severely lacking in brainstem neurons in mutations leading to Rett syndrome, a neurological developmental disorder. The finding has implications for the treatment of neurological disorders, including Rett syndrome that affects one in 10,000 baby girls.

Related Articles


The new discovery is published online in Neuroscience and is expected in the print issue of Neuroscience in March.

Using a mouse model of Rett syndrome, the OHSU team found that mutant neurons in the brainstem fail miserably at making BDNF. When normal neurons are faced with a respiratory challenge, such as low oxygen, they dramatically increase the production of BDNF, whereas mutant neurons do not.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Rett syndrome is estimated to affect one in every 10,000 to 15,000 live births and almost exclusively girls because it is caused by an X-linked gene mutation. In addition to severe problems with motor function, other symptoms of Rett syndrome may include breathing difficulties while awake.

"The new finding, coupled with our previously published data that show BDNF is involved in normal maturation of neuronal pathways controlling cardiorespiratory function, could play a significant role in the development of a treatment for Rett syndrome," said Agnieszka Balkowiec, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator and associate professor of integrative biosciences in the OHSU School of Dentistry; and adjunct assistant professor of physiology and pharmacology in the OHSU School of Medicine. To conduct this research, Balkowiec partnered with John M. Bissonnette, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and cell and developmental biology in the OHSU School of Medicine.

Additional study authors include: Anke Vermehren-Schmaedick, Ph.D., OHSU Department of Biomedical Engineering; Victoria K. Jenkins, B.A., who is currently pursuing her doctorate at Boston University; and Sharon J. Knopp, a research assistant in Bissonnette's lab.

The study was supported by grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health; March of Dimes; and International Rett Syndrome Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon Health & Science University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Anke Vermehren-Schmaedick, Victoria K. Jenkins, Sharon J. Knopp, Agnieszka Balkowiec, John M. Bissonnette. Acute intermittent hypoxia-induced expression of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor is disrupted in the brainstem of mecp2 null mice. Neuroscience, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.01.017

Cite This Page:

Oregon Health & Science University. "Brain-derived neurotrophic factor: Finding may have implications for Rett Syndrome, other neurological disorders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120127174838.htm>.
Oregon Health & Science University. (2012, January 28). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor: Finding may have implications for Rett Syndrome, other neurological disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120127174838.htm
Oregon Health & Science University. "Brain-derived neurotrophic factor: Finding may have implications for Rett Syndrome, other neurological disorders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120127174838.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. 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:

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