Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

McLean Hospital and Repligen announce results of brain imaging study of secretin

01.11.2002


Secretin is active in a brain region implicated in autism



Researchers from the Brain Imaging Center at McLean Hospital and Repligen Corporation (Nasdaq: RGEN) reported today the results of a clinical trial designed to assess the neurological activity of secretin by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The results demonstrate for the first time in humans, that secretin is active in the central nervous system and that it potentiates activity in the amygdala, a region of the brain involved in social integration and implicated in autism. The findings were presented today by Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, Ph.D., of McLean Hospital, the study’s Principal Investigator, at the International Meeting for Autism Research, a satellite meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

"Our results demonstrate for the first time that secretin is a neuroactive peptide in humans and that it acts on a brain region known to be important for social interaction," stated Yurgelun-Todd, Director of Cognitive Neuroimaging at the Brain Imaging Center at McLean Hospital. "These findings suggest that secretin may have a role in modulating certain social behavior in humans."


The study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in 12 healthy men. Each subject was presented with a series of pictures of faces with either a neutral, happy or fearful facial expression to establish a baseline response. Following an injection of either secretin or a placebo, the subjects were again presented with the series of facial expressions. Throughout the experiment, the activation of the amygdala was recorded with MRI. There was a significant activation (p=0.001) of the right amygdala by secretin when the subjects viewed pictures of a fearful face compared to both the placebo group and the baseline response to the pictures in the secretin group. By contrast, there was no difference in amygdala activation when subjects viewed pictures of neutral or happy faces. Failure to activate the amygdala when viewing fearful faces is a characteristic of people with autism and patients with amygdala damage. The current study was initiated as part of ongoing research efforts to understand secretin as a neurologically active peptide. Repligen previously reported a finding that treatment of rats with secretin specifically activates the neurons in the amygdala. Repligen is currently developing secretin for autism in a Phase 3 clinical trial program.

"These studies show that secretin is active in a part of the human brain involved in social interaction and potentiates its activity during a social task known to be difficult for people with autism," stated Walter C. Herlihy, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Repligen Corporation. "These data provides a plausible biological mechanism for the improvements in social interaction we observed in our Phase 2 clinical trial."

The Amygdala and the Social Deficits of Autism

The amygdala is part of a complex neural system that is critical for ascribing emotional value to stimuli and influencing affective responsiveness and emotional learning. One of the core deficits of autism is impaired reciprocal social interaction, including eye contact, joint attention and an inability to deduce the mental states of others from facial expressions. Reduced activation of the amygdala in patients with autism has been documented using fMRI with specific impairment noted in their ability to respond to facial expressions of fear. Other studies indicate that patients with either surgical or congenital amygdala damage show similar face recognition defects. Lack of activation of the amygdala is recognized as an important correlate of the social deficits of autism.

Repligen’s President and CEO Walter C. Herlihy, Ph.D. also presented data from its Phase 2 clinical trial. The Phase 2 study evaluated three administrations of secretin or a placebo in 126 patients aged 3 years to 6 years 11 months with moderate to severe symptoms of autism and gastrointestinal disorders. The primary finding of the Phase 2 clinical trial was that younger children, 3 and 4 year olds, showed improvements in reciprocal social interaction as judged by a standardized clinical instrument for the assessment of autistic symptoms. Repligen is currently conducting a Phase 3 clinical trial of secretin for the improvement of reciprocal social interaction in young children with autism.


About McLean Hospital
McLean Hospital maintains the largest research program of any private, U.S. psychiatric hospital. It is the largest psychiatric teaching facility of Harvard Medical School, an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital and a member of Partners HealthCare. The Brain Imaging Center at McLean is one of the largest imaging centers in the world, actively engaged in clinical research studies of brain function. Researchers at McLean were part of the team that first identified regional abnormalities in brain activation in patients with schizophrenia and in normal aging, as well as regional changes in blood flow and metabolism in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

About Repligen Corporation
Repligen Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company committed to being the leader in the development of new drugs for pediatric developmental disorders including autism, immune and metabolic disorders. Repligen has a specialty pharmaceuticals business comprised of rProtein ATM and SecreFloTM, the profits from which will be used to support the development of our proprietary products. rProtein ATM is a consumable reagent used by the pharmaceutical industry to produce a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies and SecreFloTM, secretin for injection, is marketed to gastroenterologists for pancreatic assessment. Repligen’s corporate headquarters are located at 41 Seyon Street, Building #1, Suite 100, Waltham, MA 02453. Additional information may be requested from www.repligen.com.

Renee L. Connolly | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

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...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

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....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

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...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

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...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>