Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a recessive neuromuscular disorder, is caused by diminished function of the Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) protein. To define the cellular processes pertinent to SMA, parallel genetic screens were undertaken in Drosophila and C. elegans SMA models to identify modifiers of the SMN loss of function phenotypes. One class of such genetic modifiers was the small conductance, Ca2+-activated K+ (SK) channels. SK channels allow efflux of potassium ions when intracellular calcium increases and can be activated by the neuroprotective drug riluzole. The latter is the only drug with proven, albeit modest, efficacy in the treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). It is unclear if riluzole can extend lifespan or ameliorate symptoms in SMA patients as previous studies were limited and of insufficient power to draw any conclusions. The critical biochemical target of riluzole in motorneuron disease is not known, but the pharmacological targets of riluzole include SK channels. We examine here the impact of riluzole in two different SMA models. In vertebrate neurons, riluzole treatment restored axon outgrowth caused by diminished SMN. Additionally, riluzole ameliorated the neuromuscular defects in a C. elegans SMA model and SK channel function was required for this beneficial effect. We propose that riluzole improves motorneuron function by acting on SK channels and suggest that SK channels may be important therapeutic targets for SMA patients.
Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with prominent brain manifestations due to mutations in either TSC1 or TSC2. Here, we describe novel mouse brain models of TSC generated using conditional hypomorphic and null alleles of Tsc2 combined with the neuron-specific synapsin I cre (SynIcre) allele. This allelic series of homozygous conditional hypomorphic alleles (Tsc2c-del3/c-del3SynICre+) and heterozygote null/conditional hypomorphic alleles (Tsc2k/c-del3SynICre+) achieves a graded reduction in expression of Tsc2 in neurons in vivo. The mice demonstrate a progressive neurologic phenotype including hunchback, hind limb clasp, reduced survival and brain and cortical neuron enlargement that correlates with a graded reduction in expression of Tsc2 in the two sets of mice. Both models also showed behavioral abnormalities in anxiety, social interaction and learning assays, which correlated with Tsc2 protein levels as well. The observations demonstrate that there are graded biochemical, cellular and clinical/behavioral effects that are proportional to the extent of reduction in Tsc2 expression in neurons. Further, they suggest that some patients with milder manifestations of TSC may be due to persistent low-level expression of functional protein from their mutant allele. In addition, they point to the potential clinical benefit of strategies to raise TSC2 protein expression from the wild-type allele by even modest amounts.
Genetic disorders that present with a high incidence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) offer tremendous potential both for elucidating the underlying neurobiology of ASD and identifying therapeutic drugs and/or drug targets. As a result, clinical trials for genetic disorders associated with ASD are no longer a hope for the future but rather an exciting reality whose time has come. Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is one such genetic disorder that presents with ASD, epilepsy, and intellectual disability. Cell culture and mouse model experiments have identified the mTOR pathway as a therapeutic target in this disease. This review summarizes the advantages of using TSC as model of ASD and the recent advances in the translational and clinical treatment trials in TSC.
Minimally invasive surgical technics have benefits such as decreased pain, reduced surgical trauma, and increased potential to perform as day case surgery, and cost benefit. The primary aim of this prospective, randomized, controlled study was to compare the effects of single incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy (SILC) and conventional laparoscopic cholecystectomy (CLC) procedures regarding postoperative pain.
Ninety adult patients undergoing elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy were included in the study. Patients were randomized to either SILC or CLC. Patient characteristics, postoperative abdominal and shoulder pain scores, rescue analgesic use, and intraoperative and early postoperative complications were recorded.
A total of 83 patients completed the study. Patient characteristics, postoperative abdominal and shoulder pain scores and rescue analgesic requirement were similar between each group except with the lower abdominal pain score in CLC group at 30th minute (P = 0.04). Wound infection was seen in 1 patient in each group. Nausea occurred in 13 of 43 patients (30%) in the SILC group and 8 of 40 patients (20%) in the CLC group (P > 0.05). Despite ondansetron treatment, 6 patients in SILC group and 7 patients in CLC group vomited (P > 0.05).
In conclusion, in patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery, SILC or CLC techniques does not influence the postoperative pain and analgesic medication requirements. Our results also suggest that all laparoscopy patients suffer moderate and/or severe abdominal pain and nearly half of these patients also suffer from some form of shoulder pain.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy; Postoperative pain
Thick-slice image acquisitions are sometimes inevitable in magnetic resonance imaging due to limitations posed by pulse sequence timing and signal-to-noise-ratio. The estimation of an isotropic high-resolution volume from thick-slice MRI scans is desired for improved image analysis and evaluation. In this article we formulate a maximum a posteriori (MAP) estimation algorithm for high-resolution volumetric MRI reconstruction. As compared to the previous techniques, this probabilistic formulation relies on a slice acquisition model and allows the incorporation of image priors. We focus on image priors based on image gradients and compare the developed MAP estimation approach to scattered data interpolation (SDI) and maximum likelihood reconstruction. The results indicate that the developed MAP estimation approach outperforms the SDI techniques and appropriate image priors may improve the volume estimation when the acquired thick-slice scans do not sufficiently sample the imaged volume. We also report applications in pediatric and fetal imaging.
MAP estimation; super-resolution; volume reconstruction
The olive tree (Olea europaea L.) is a diploid (2n = 2x = 46) outcrossing species mainly grown in the Mediterranean area, where it is the most important oil-producing crop. Because of its economic, cultural and ecological importance, various DNA markers have been used in the olive to characterize and elucidate homonyms, synonyms and unknown accessions. However, a comprehensive characterization and a full sequence of its transcriptome are unavailable, leading to the importance of an efficient large-scale single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery in olive. The objectives of this study were (1) to discover olive SNPs using next-generation sequencing and to identify SNP primers for cultivar identification and (2) to characterize 96 olive genotypes originating from different regions of Turkey.
Next-generation sequencing technology was used with five distinct olive genotypes and generated cDNA, producing 126,542,413 reads using an Illumina Genome Analyzer IIx. Following quality and size trimming, the high-quality reads were assembled into 22,052 contigs with an average length of 1,321 bases and 45 singletons. The SNPs were filtered and 2,987 high-quality putative SNP primers were identified. The assembled sequences and singletons were subjected to BLAST similarity searches and annotated with a Gene Ontology identifier. To identify the 96 olive genotypes, these SNP primers were applied to the genotypes in combination with amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers.
This study marks the highest number of SNP markers discovered to date from olive genotypes using transcriptome sequencing. The developed SNP markers will provide a useful source for molecular genetic studies, such as genetic diversity and characterization, high density quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis, association mapping and map-based gene cloning in the olive. High levels of genetic variation among Turkish olive genotypes revealed by SNPs, AFLPs and SSRs allowed us to characterize the Turkish olive genotype.
Adipocytokines are important mediators of interorgan crosstalk in metabolic regulation. Thyroid diseases have effects on metabolism and inflammation. The mechanism of these effects is not clear. Recently, there are several reports suggesting this interrelation between adipocytokines and thyroid dysfunction. In this review, we summarize this relation according to the literature.
Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging has been used extensively to probe the white matter in vivo. Typically, the raw diffusion images are used to reconstruct a diffusion tensor image (DTI). The in-capacity of DTI to represent crossing fibers leaded to the development of more sophisticated diffusion models. Among them, multi-fiber models represent each fiber bundle independently, allowing the direct extraction of diffusion features for population analysis. However, no method exists to properly register multi-fiber models, seriously limiting their use in group comparisons. This paper presents a registration and atlas construction method for multi-fiber models. The validity of the registration is demonstrated on a dataset of 45 subjects, including both healthy and unhealthy subjects. Morphometry analysis and tract-based statistics are then carried out, proving that multi-fiber models registration is better at detecting white matter local differences than single tensor registration.
Diffusion Imaging; Multi-Fiber Models; Registration; White Matter
Monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis is a common disorder seen in childhood, and many factors play a role in its etiopathology to varying degrees. The aim of our study was to investigate the possible association between nocturnal enuresis and 24-h blood pressure profiles of enuretic children.
A total of 45 children ranging in age from 6 to 15 years with monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis and 22 age-matched healthy controls were enrolled in our study. The blood pressure measurement was made at 30-min intervals during a 24-h period via an ambulatory blood pressure measurement device. Both groups underwent medical tests that included a complete blood count, blood biochemistry profile, urinalysis and blood renin–aldosterone levels, and all study subjects received an abdominal ultrasound.
Statistically significant high nocturnal blood pressure levels were observed in our patients with monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis compared with the control group (p < 0.05). The mean values of the day-to-night difference (dipping) in the systolic and diastolic blood pressure of the patients were significantly lower than those of control group (p < 0.05).
Nocturnal enuresis should not only be accepted as a urinary system disorder. Possible systemic causative factors have to be examined, especially in patients that are resistant to first-line therapy. Based on the results of our study, we deduce that one of the factors that plays a role in the pathogenesis of enuresis nocturna is a non-dipping blood pressure profile (the “non-dipping” phenomenon).
Nocturnal enuresis; Children; Blood pressure; Non-dipping phenomenon
Fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) plays an important role in regulation of glucose and lipid homeostasis as well as inflammation through its actions in adipocytes and macrophages. FABP4 is also expressed in a subset of endothelial cells, but its role in this cell type is not known. We found that FABP4-deficient human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) demonstrate a markedly increased susceptibility to apoptosis as well as decreased migration and capillary network formation. Aortic rings from FABP4−/− mice demonstrated decreased angiogenic sprouting, which was recovered by reconstitution of FABP4. FABP4 was strongly regulated by mTORC1 and inhibited by Rapamycin. FABP4 modulated activation of several important signaling pathways in HUVECs, including downregulation of P38, eNOS, and stem cell factor (SCF)/c-kit signaling. Of these, the SCF/c-kit pathway was found to have a major role in attenuated angiogenic activity of FABP4-deficient ECs as provision of exogenous SCF resulted in a significant recovery in cell proliferation, survival, morphogenesis, and aortic ring sprouting. These data unravel a novel pro-angiogenic role for endothelial cell-FABP4 and suggest that it could be exploited as a potential target for diseases associated with pathological angiogenesis.
Angiogenesis; Endothelial cells; FABP4; Rapamycin; c-Kit; Stem cell factor
Graph theory has been recently introduced to characterize complex brain networks, making it highly suitable to investigate altered connectivity in neurologic disorders. A current model proposes autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as a developmental disconnection syndrome, supported by converging evidence in both non-syndromic and syndromic ASD. However, the effects of abnormal connectivity on network properties have not been well studied, particularly in syndromic ASD. To close this gap, brain functional networks of electroencephalographic (EEG) connectivity were studied through graph measures in patients with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), a disorder with a high prevalence of ASD, as well as in patients with non-syndromic ASD.
EEG data were collected from TSC patients with ASD (n = 14) and without ASD (n = 29), from patients with non-syndromic ASD (n = 16), and from controls (n = 46). First, EEG connectivity was characterized by the mean coherence, the ratio of inter- over intra-hemispheric coherence and the ratio of long- over short-range coherence. Next, graph measures of the functional networks were computed and a resilience analysis was conducted. To distinguish effects related to ASD from those related to TSC, a two-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was applied, using age as a covariate.
Analysis of network properties revealed differences specific to TSC and ASD, and these differences were very consistent across subgroups. In TSC, both with and without a concurrent diagnosis of ASD, mean coherence, global efficiency, and clustering coefficient were decreased and the average path length was increased. These findings indicate an altered network topology. In ASD, both with and without a concurrent diagnosis of TSC, decreased long- over short-range coherence and markedly increased network resilience were found.
The altered network topology in TSC represents a functional correlate of structural abnormalities and may play a role in the pathogenesis of neurological deficits. The increased resilience in ASD may reflect an excessively degenerate network with local overconnection and decreased functional specialization. This joint study of TSC and ASD networks provides a unique window to common neurobiological mechanisms in autism.
Graph theory; Functional connectivity; Electroencephalogram; Tuberous sclerosis complex; Autism spectrum disorders
Rationale and Objectives
Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) is a genetic neurocutaneous syndrome in which cognitive and social-behavioral outcomes for patients vary widely in an unpredictable manner. The cause of adverse neurological outcome remains unclear. We investigated the hypothesis that disordered white matter and abnormal neural connectivity are associated with adverse neurological outcome.
Materials and Methods
Structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging was carried out in 40 subjects with TSC (age range 0.5 – 25 years, mean age 7.2 and median age 5 years), 12 of whom had autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and in 29 age-matched controls. Tractography of the corpus callosum was used to define a 3-dimensional volume of interest. Regional averages of four diffusion scalar parameters of the callosal projections were calculated for each subject. These were the average fractional anisotropy (AFA) and average mean, radial and axial diffusivity (AMD, ARD, AAD).
Subjects with TSC had significantly lower AFA and higher AMD, ARD and AAD values compared to controls. Subjects with TSC and ASD had significantly lower AFA values compared to those without ASD, and compared to controls. TSC subjects without ASD had similar AFA values compared to controls.
Diffusion tensor scalar parameters provided measures of properties of the three-dimensional callosal projections. In TSC, changes in these parameters may reflect microstructural changes in myelination, axonal integrity, or extracellular environment. Alterations in white matter microstructural properties were associated with TSC and larger changes were associated with TSC and ASD, thus establishing a relationship between altered white matter microstructural integrity and brain function.
Purpose: Single incision laparoscopic surgery in suitable cases is preferred today because it results in less postoperative pain, a more rapid recovery period, more comfort, and a better cosmetic appearance from smaller incisions. This study aims to present our experiences with single incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy to evaluate the safety and feasibility of this procedure.
Methods: A total of 150 patients who underwent single incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy between January 2009 and December 2011 were evaluated retrospectively. In this serial, two different access techniques were used for single incision laparoscopy.
Results: Single incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy was performed successfully on 150 patients. Median operative time was 29 (minimum-maximum=5-66) minutes. Median duration of hospital stay was found to be 1.33 (minimum-maximum=1-8) days. Patients were controlled on the seventh postoperative day. Bilier complication was not seen in the early period. Five patients showed port site hernia complications. Other major complications were not seen in the 36-month follow-up period.
Conclusion: Operation time of single incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy is significantly shortened with the learning curve. Single incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy seems a safe method.
Cholecystectomy; Single incision
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have higher risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Heart type fatty acid binding protein (HFABP) has been found to be predictive for myocardial ischemia.Wet ested whether HFABP is the predictor for CVD in PCOS patients, who have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
This was a prospective, cross sectional controlled study conducted in a training and research hospital.The study population consisted of 46 reproductive-age PCOS women and 28 control subjects. We evaluated anthropometric and metabolic parameters, carotid intima media thickness and HFABP levels in both PCOS patients and control group.
Mean fasting insulin, homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR), triglyceride, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, free testosterone, total testosterone, carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) levels were significantly higher in PCOS patients. Although HFABP levels were higher in PCOS patients, the difference did not reach statistically significant in early age groups. After adjustment for age and body mass index, HFABP level was positive correlated with hsCRP, free testosterone levels, CIMT and HOMA-IR.
Heart type free fatty acid binding protein appeared to have an important role in metabolic response and subsequent development of atherosclerosis in insulin resistant, hyperandrogenemic PCOS patients.
Polycystic ovary syndrome; Heart type free fatty acid binding protein; Carotid intima media thickness; Insulin resistance; Cardiovascular disease risk
Thyroid volume (TV) has been found to be associated with age, anthropometry, smoking, iodine status and hyperinsulinemia. Hyperinsulinemia is frequent finding in patients with PCOS and has associations with TV. However, the TV has been evaluated only a few studies in patients with PCOS. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the biochemical and hormonal variables in patients with PCOS comparing with the controls and their relationships between TV.
This was a case–control study conducted in a training and research hospital. The study population consisted of 47 reproductive-age PCOS women and 30 control subjects. We evaluated anthropometric, biochemical and hormonal parameters as well as thyroid volume in PCOS patients and controls. Insulin resistance was calculated using the homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR).
Mean age, BMI, thyroid stimulant hormone (TSH) levels and TV were similar between groups (p<0.05). The HOMA-IR and free T4 levels were higher in patients with PCOS. However, hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance were not found to be associated with TV. Thyroid volume was positively correlated with the LH and anti TPO levels. The participants were divided into 2 groups according to HOMA-IR levels. The mean TV measurement was higher in group with higher HOMA-IR levels, but the difference was not significant in young age PCOS patients.
In early age PCOS patients it was observed that insulin resistance had no effect on TV. In this case, anti TPO and LH have dominant effect on TV. Chronic stimulation with LH and insulin may lead to increase in TV in later stages of the PCOS diseases.
Polycystic ovary syndrome; Insulin resistance; Luteinizing hormone; Estradiol; Thyroid volume
Purpose of review
Rare genetic diseases that affect behavior and cognition provide a unique opportunity to study the mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders through the examination of animal models, which can lead to development of hypotheses and treatments testable in human beings. Rett syndrome (RTT) and Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) are both Mendelian disorders that present with autism, epilepsy, and intellectual disability where animal model work has been directly translated into clinical treatment trials currently underway. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of RTT and TSC pathogenesis and signaling pathways that may be targeted for novel treatments.
Animal models generated by engineering mutant forms of the mouse homologs of human genes involved in RTT and TSC has allowed dissection of the molecular pathology. They have further acted as in vivo assays of potential therapeutic strategies that have translated to human clinical trials.
Single gene disorders associated with neurodevelopmental disorders provide powerful model systems to study the roles of individual molecules and associated signaling pathways in the genesis of autism, epilepsy, cognitive impairment and neuropsychiatric symptoms. These diseases are leading to disease-modifying human therapies that may eventually translate to wider therapeutic strategies for autism.
mTOR; MECP2; IGF1; TSC1; TSC2
It has been reported that luteinizing hormone (LH) had thyropropic effect on rat and human thyroid membrane. It has been known that patients with PCOS have elevated LH levels in comparison to healthy controls.
The goiter prevalence is more common in women than in men regardless of population. The higher incidence of thyroid diseases in women has been previously attributed to higher estradiol levels. Estradiol has been shown to enhance proliferative and mitogenic activities of thyroid cells. However, in recent years chronic estradiol treatment has been shown to reduce volume densities of thyroid follicles, follicular epithelium and thyroid gland volume. It is thought to be due to LH suppression.
Therefore we suggested that increased LH levels might provide a stimulus for growth on thyroid and alter thyroid function. Therefore patients with PCOS who had elevated LH levels should be treated by combined estradiol pills such as estrogen-progestin contraceptives for suppression of LH secretion. Further studies are needed to evaluate the association between LH, LH suppression and thyroid volume in patients with PCOS.
Thyroid volume; Luteinizing hormone; Polycystic ovary syndrome
The efficacy of octreotide in the treatment of acute pancreatitis is controversial. Octreotide treatment for acute pancreatitis often shows poor correlation between results obtained in experimental studies and results of clinical trials. In a clinical setting, there is always a delay between the onset of the disease and initiation of the octreotide treatment. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between the beginning of treatment and alteration in effectiveness of octreotide.
Acute pancreatitis was induced by pancreatic duct ligation in 50 rats. The rats were randomly divided into five groups. Octreotide was not used in group 1 (control group). Only single dose (4 µg/kg) octreotide was administered subcutaneously to rats in group 2, having induced pancreatitis. Octreotide treatment was begun at different times (8th, 24th, 48th hour) in three other groups and continued treatment at a dosage of 4 µg/kg t.i.d. The animals were sacrificed at the end of the 72nd hour and blood and tissue samples were collected.
Leukocyte count and plasma amylase values were less in groups 2 and 3. Hemorrhagic focuses were encountered less at pancreas tissues in group 3. Pancreatic necrosis and alveolar capillary basal membrane damage were lower in groups 3 and 4. No difference was found in fasting blood glucose, calcium and hematocrit.
Octreotide had benefical effects in acute pancreatitis when octreotide treatment was begun in the first 24 hours.
Pancreatitis; Octreotide; Amylase
Over the past several years, the study of a hereditary tumor syndrome, tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), has shed light on the regulation of cellular proliferation and growth. TSC is an autosomal dominant disorder that is due to inactivating mutations in TSC1 or TSC2 and characterized by benign tumors (hamartomas) involving multiple organ systems. The TSC1/2 complex has been found to play a crucial role in an evolutionarily-conserved signaling pathway that regulates cell growth: the mTORC1 pathway. This pathway promotes anabolic processes and inhibits catabolic processes in response to extracellular and intracellular factors. Findings in cancer biology have reinforced the critical role for TSC1/2 in cell growth and proliferation. In contrast to cancer cells, in the CNS, the TSC1/2 complex not only regulates cell growth/proliferation, but also orchestrates an intricate and finely tuned system that has distinctive roles under different conditions, depending on cell type, stage of development, and subcellular localization. Overall, TSC1/2 signaling in the CNS, via its multi-faceted roles, contributes to proper neural connectivity. Here, we will review the TSC signaling in the CNS.
mTOR; autism; translation
Purpose of review
Mendelian disorders that affect cognition provide a unique opportunity to study the mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders through the examination of genetic defects in animals and development of hypotheses that can be tested in human subjects. Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic disease that presents with epilepsy, autism and intellectual disability. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of TSC pathogenesis and signaling pathways that may be modulated to treat the neurological symptoms.
Accumulating evidence suggests that TSC patients have non-tuber abnormalities that contribute to the development of the neurological phenotype – in particular, disorganization of axon tracts and deficient myelination. TSC mouse models have failed to replicate the human neuropathology entirely, but have shed light on the cellular abnormalities and the neurobehavioral phenotypes. Most importantly, cell culture and animal models have identified the mTORC1 pathway as a therapeutic target in this disease.
Preclinical data strongly suggest that TSC is a disease of abnormal neuronal connectivity. The high incidence of neurodevelopmental deficits, early detection of the disease in very young ages, and availability of mTORC1 inhibitors make TSC a model for other Mendelian disorders of neurocognition and an avenue for the mechanism-based treatment trials of neurodevelopmental disorders.
mTOR; autism; translation; DTI
Approximately 40 - 50% of individuals affected by tuberous sclerosis (TSC) develop autism spectrum disorders (ASD). One possible explanation for this partial penetrance is an interaction between TSC gene mutations and other risk factors such as gestational immune activation. Here, we report interactive effects of these two ASD risk factors in a mouse model of TSC. Combined, but not single exposure had adverse effects on intrauterine survival. Additionally, provisional results suggest that these factors synergize to disrupt social approach behavior in adult mice. Moreover, studies in human populations are consistent with an interaction between high seasonal flu activity in late gestation and TSC mutations in ASD. Taken together, our studies raise the possibility of a gene × environment interaction between heterozygous TSC gene mutations and gestational immune activation in the pathogenesis of tuberous sclerosis-related ASD.
The mechanisms that promote excitatory synapse formation and maturation have been extensively studied. However, the molecular events that limit excitatory synapse development so that synapses form at the right time and place and in the correct numbers are less well understood. We have identified a RhoA guanine nucleotide exchange factor, Ephexin5, which negatively regulates excitatory synapse development until EphrinB binding to the EphB receptor tyrosine kinase triggers Ephexin5 phosphorylation, ubiquitination, and degradation. The degradation of Ephexin5 promotes EphB-dependent excitatory synapse development and is mediated by Ube3A, a ubiquitin ligase that is mutated in the human cognitive disorder Angelman syndrome and duplicated in some forms of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). These findings suggest that aberrant EphB/Ephexin5 signaling during the development of synapses may contribute to the abnormal cognitive function that occurs in Angelman syndrome and, possibly, ASDs.
We measured the expression of 187 miRNAs using quantitative real time PCR in the hippocampal CA1 region of contextually conditioned mice and cultured embryonic rat hippocampal neurons after neuronal stimulation with either NMDA or bicuculline. Many of the changes in miRNA expression after these three types of stimulation were similar. Surprisingly, the expression level of half of the 187 measured miRNAs was changed in response to contextual conditioning in an NMDA receptor-dependent manner. Genes that control miRNA biogenesis and components of the RISC also exhibited activity induced expression changes and are likely to contribute to the widespread changes in the miRNA profile. The widespread changes in miRNA expression are consistent with the finding that genes up-regulated by contextual conditioning have longer 3′ UTRs and more predicted binding sites for miRNAs. Among the miRNAs that changed their expression after contextual conditioning, several inhibit inhibitors of the mTOR pathway. These findings point to a role for miRNAs in learning and memory that includes mTOR-dependent modulation of protein synthesis.
Bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria (BPP) is a well-recognized malformation of cortical development commonly associated with epilepsy, cognitive impairment, and oromotor apraxia. Reports have suggested the association of BPP with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. We sought to investigate the clinical, electrophysiological, and neuroradiological features of this combined syndrome to determine if there are unique features that distinguish BPP with arthrogryposis from BPP alone.
Cases of BPP with congenital arthrogryposis were identified from a large research database of individuals with polymicrogyria. Clinical features (including oromotor function, seizures, and joint contractures), MR brain imaging, and results of neuromuscular testing were reviewed.
Ten cases of BPP with congenital arthrogryposis were identified. Most cases had some degree of oromotor apraxia. Only a few had seizures, but a majority of cases were still young children. Electrophysiological studies provided evidence for lower motor neuron or peripheral nervous system involvement. On brain imaging, bilateral polymicrogyria (PMG) centered along the Sylvian fissures was seen, with variable extension frontally or parietally; no other cortical malformations were present. We did not identify obvious neuroimaging features that distinguish this syndrome from that of BPP without arthrogryposis.
The clinical and neuroimaging features of the syndrome of BPP with congenital arthrogryposis appear similar to those seen in cases of isolated BPP without joint contractures, but electrophysiological studies often demonstrate coexistent lower motor neuron or peripheral nervous system pathology. These findings suggest that BPP with arthrogryposis may have a genetic etiology with effects at two levels of the neuraxis.
Cortical malformation; dysplasia; perisylvian; polymicrogyria; contractures; arthrogryposis