A team of scientists from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) and Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC), led by Zygmunt Galdzicki, Ph.D., associate professor of Anatomy, Physiology and Genetics, USU, and Tarik F. Haydar, Ph.D., CNMC, now associate professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, and corresponding author on the study), were able to identify Olig1 and Olig2 as two genes specific to the critical region of chromosome 21 associated with Down syndrome by using a specifically-engineered modification of the golden standard Down syndrome mouse model, Ts65Dn.
Previous studies including those by co-author Tyler Best, Ph.D., while a graduate student at USU, suggested that inhibitory activity is stronger in the Ts65Dn brain. This led researchers at USU and Children’s to hypothesize that genes controlling the inhibitory tone of the brain contribute to the cognitive changes associated with Down syndrome. By manipulating Olig1 and Olig2, genes present on the extra chromosome 21, the researchers were able to normalize key aspects of the inhibitory tone in brain regions involved in learning and memory. Thus, the balance of excitatory to inhibitory neurons is critically regulated by extra copies of these genes and they can drastically modify neurological development in Down syndrome.
“The results of this study demonstrate the critical effects of Olig1 and Olig2 on brain development and, in particular, on inhibitory networks in the brain,” said Dr. Galdzicki. “However, it is likely that additional genes are also involved in the effect. We hope the findings will lead to better strategies for early intervention, even during the pregnancy, to reduce neurological consequences of Down syndrome.
“This study again highlights that research on Down syndrome can provide us with new insight into the mechanisms that regulate brain growth and may help with better understanding other neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism,” he said. “These findings show the need to do more human studies and also suggest that Olig1 and Olig2 inhibitors may have a potential therapeutic role for Down syndrome individuals.”
The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, located in Bethesda, Maryland, on the grounds of the National Naval Medical Center, is a traditional U.S. academic health center with a unique emphasis on educating the next generation of health care providers and researchers in military medicine, tropical diseases, humanitarian assistance, as well as responses to disasters and other public health emergencies. USU’s nationally ranked military and civilian faculty conduct cutting edge research in the biomedical sciences and in areas specific to the DoD health care mission.
Kenneth Frager | Newswise Science News
The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona
Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research