Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Possible link to developmental brain disorders found

Date:
June 11, 2014
Source:
WVU Healthcare and West Virginia University Health Sciences
Summary:
A mechanism in brain development that, when disrupted, may play a role in cerebral cortex circuit disorders, including autism, schizophrenia, and childhood epilepsy, has been discovered by researchers. The study examines how one intracellular signaling pathway affects the movement of cells in a growing brain.

Researchers in West Virginia University's Center for Neuroscience have identified a mechanism in brain development that, when disrupted, may play a role in cerebral cortex circuit disorders, including autism, schizophrenia, and childhood epilepsy.

Currently published in the The Journal of Neuroscience, the study led by Eric Tucker, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, "Cortical Interneurons Require Jnk1 to Enter and Navigate the Developing Cerebral Cortex," examines how one intracellular signaling pathway affects the movement of cells in a growing brain.

As the most complex and highly evolved part of a mammal's brain, areas of the cerebral cortex play key roles in not only sensory processing, but higher functions, such as thinking, perceiving, producing, and understanding language. "Our lab studies genetic mechanisms underlying development of the cerebral cortex, particularly those of inhibitory cortical interneurons," Dr. Tucker said. "An interneuron is a type of nerve cell that controls activity of the many surrounding neurons it connects to. These cells play vital roles regulating cortical function, and their dysfunction is implicated in serious developmental brain disorders, including autism, schizophrenia, and childhood epilepsy."

Tucker's lab identified the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway to be a critical regulator of the directed movement of cortical interneurons in a mouse's developing brain, acting as a type of "traffic cop." When JNK signaling is hampered, migratory interneurons lose their ability to successfully make their way through the cerebral cortex. In short, the cells "get lost" and end up in the wrong places.

A number of factors can interfere with the migration of neurons, including genetics, environmental exposures, and stress. Tucker's lab will expand upon this research to determine which molecular mechanisms up and down stream of the JNK pathway affect the migration of interneurons, as well as their effects on the final "wiring" and function of the cerebral cortex.

"As we expand on our findings, the data will be essential for eventually translating our basic research into new diagnostic tools and treatment strategies for neurologic and psychiatric diseases," Tucker added.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by WVU Healthcare and West Virginia University Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. K. Myers, D. W. Meechan, D. R. Adney, E. S. Tucker. Cortical Interneurons Require Jnk1 to Enter and Navigate the Developing Cerebral Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 2014; 34 (23): 7787 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4695-13.2014

Cite This Page:

WVU Healthcare and West Virginia University Health Sciences. "Possible link to developmental brain disorders found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611151113.htm>.
WVU Healthcare and West Virginia University Health Sciences. (2014, June 11). Possible link to developmental brain disorders found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611151113.htm
WVU Healthcare and West Virginia University Health Sciences. "Possible link to developmental brain disorders found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611151113.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) — New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) — Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) — Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) — Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
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