Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Transgenic technique 'eliminates' a specific neural circuit in brain of primates

Date:
June 26, 2012
Source:
National Institute for Physiological Sciences
Summary:
Biologists have developed a gene transfer technique that can "eliminate" a specific neural circuit in non-human primates for the first time.

In the brains of humans and non-human primates, over 100 billion nerve cells build up complicated neural circuits and produce higher brain functions. When an attempt is made to perform gene therapy for neurological diseases like Parkinson's disease, it is necessary to specify a responsible neural circuit out of many complicated circuits.Until now, however, it was difficult to introduce a target gene into this particular circuit selectively.

The collaborative research group consisting of Professor Masahiko Takada from Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Professor Atsushi Nambu from National Institute for Physiological Sciences, National Institutes of Natural Sciences, and Professor Kazuto KOBAYASHI from Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine have now developed a gene transfer technique that can "eliminate"a specific neural circuit in non-human primates for the first time.

They applied this technique to the basal ganglia, the brain region that is affected in movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, and successfully eliminated a particular circuit selectively to elucidate its functional role. This technique can be applied to gene therapy for various neurological diseases in humans. This research achievement was supported by the Strategic Research Program of Brain Sciences by MEXT of Japan.

The research group developed a special viral vector, NeuRet-IL-2R alpha-GFP viral vector, expressing human interleukin type 2 alpha receptor, which the cell death inducer immunotoxin binds. Nerve cells transfected with this viral vector cause cell death by immunotoxin. First, the research group injected the viral vector into the subthalamic nucleus that is a component of the basal ganglia. Then, they injected immunotoxin into the motor cortex, an area of the cerebral cortex that controls movement, and succeed in selective elimination of the "hyperdirect pathway" that is one of the major circuits connecting the motor cortex to the basal ganglia. As a result, they have discovered that neuronal excitation observed at the early stage occurs through this hyperdirect pathway when motor information derived from the cortex enters the basal ganglia.

Professors Takada and Nambu expect that this gene transfer technique enables us to elucidate higher brain functions in primates and to develop primate models of various psychiatric/neurological disorders and their potential treatments including gene therapy. They think that this should provide novel advances in the field of neuroscience research that originate from Japan.

This research was supported by the Strategic Research Program of Brain Sciences by MEXT of Japan.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute for Physiological Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ken-ichi Inoue, Daisuke Koketsu, Shigeki Kato, Kazuto Kobayashi, Atsushi Nambu, Masahiko Takada Atsushi Nambu. Immunotoxin-Mediated Tract Targeting in the Primate Brain: Selective Elimination of the Cortico-Subthalamic “Hyperdirect” Pathway. PLoS ONE, 25 Jun 2012 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039149

Cite This Page:

National Institute for Physiological Sciences. "Transgenic technique 'eliminates' a specific neural circuit in brain of primates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626092716.htm>.
National Institute for Physiological Sciences. (2012, June 26). Transgenic technique 'eliminates' a specific neural circuit in brain of primates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626092716.htm
National Institute for Physiological Sciences. "Transgenic technique 'eliminates' a specific neural circuit in brain of primates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626092716.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. 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