Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New information on autism and genetics

Date:
January 3, 2013
Source:
George Washington University
Summary:
Research has revealed another piece of the puzzle in a genetic developmental disorder that causes behavioral diseases such as autism.

Research out of the George Washington University (GW), published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), reveals another piece of the puzzle in a genetic developmental disorder that causes behavioral diseases such as autism. Anthony-Samuel LaMantia, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and physiology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) and director of the GW Institute for Neuroscience, along with post-doctoral fellow Daniel Meechan, Ph.D. and Thomas Maynard, Ph.D., associate research professor of pharmacology and physiology at GW SMHS, authored the study titled "Cxcr4 regulation of interneuron migration is disrupted in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome."

Related Articles


For the past nine years, LaMantia and his colleagues have been investigating how behavioral disorders such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and schizophrenia arise during early brain development. His work published in PNAS focuses specifically on the effects diminished 22q11.2 gene dosage has on cortical circuit development.

This research shows for the first time that genetic lesions known to be associated with autism and other behavioral diseases disrupt cellular and molecular mechanisms that ensure normal development of a key type of cortical neuron: the interneuron. LaMantia and his colleagues had found previously that one type of cortical neuron, the projection neuron, is not generated in appropriate numbers during development in a mouse model of 22q11 Deletion Syndrome. In the current study published in PNAS, LaMantia found that interneurons, while made in the right numbers at their birthplace outside of the cortex, are not able to move properly into the cortex where they are needed to control cortical circuit activity. The research shows that the main reason they don't move properly is due to diminished expression of activity of a key regulatory pathway for migration, the Cxcr4 cytokine receptor.

"This gives us two pieces of the puzzle for this genetic developmental disorder," said LaMantia. "These two pieces tell us that in very early development, those with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome do not make enough cells in one case, and do not put the other cells in the right place. This occurs not because of some degenerative change, but because the mechanisms that make these cells and put them in the right place during the first step of development have gone awry due to mutation."

The next step in LaMantia's research is to probe further into the molecular mechanisms that disrupt the proliferation of projection neurons and migration of interneurons. "If we understand that better and understand its consequences, we can go about fixing it," said LaMantia. "We want to understand why cortical circuits don't get built properly due to the genetic deletion of chromosome 22."

LaMantia recently received the latest installment of a 10-year RO1 grant from the National Institutes of Health and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development for his project, titled "Regulation of 22q11 Genes in Embryonic and Adult Forebrain." This will allow him to further his research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by George Washington University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. M. Maynard, G. T. Haskell, A. Z. Peters, L. Sikich, J. A. Lieberman, and A.-S. LaMantia. A comprehensive analysis of 22q11 gene expression in the developing and adult brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2003; 100 (24): 14433 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2235651100

Cite This Page:

George Washington University. "New information on autism and genetics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130103113850.htm>.
George Washington University. (2013, January 3). New information on autism and genetics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130103113850.htm
George Washington University. "New information on autism and genetics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130103113850.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) A new study says marijuana is about 114 times less deadly than alcohol. 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