Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a set of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by a deficit in social behaviors and nonverbal interactions such as reduced eye contact, facial expression, and body gestures in the first 3 years of life. It is not a single disorder, and it is broadly considered to be a multi-factorial disorder resulting from genetic and non-genetic risk factors and their interaction. Genetic studies of ASD have identified mutations that interfere with typical neurodevelopment in utero through childhood. These complexes of genes have been involved in synaptogenesis and axon motility. Recent developments in neuroimaging studies have provided many important insights into the pathological changes that occur in the brain of patients with ASD in vivo. Especially, the role of amygdala, a major component of the limbic system and the affective loop of the cortico-striatothalamo-cortical circuit, in cognition and ASD has been proved in numerous neuropathological and neuroimaging studies. Besides the amygdala, the nucleus accumbens is also considered as the key structure which is related with the social reward response in ASD. Although educational and behavioral treatments have been the mainstay of the management of ASD, pharmacological and interventional treatments have also shown some benefit in subjects with ASD. Also, there have been reports about few patients who experienced improvement after deep brain stimulation, one of the interventional treatments. The key architecture of ASD development which could be a target for treatment is still an uncharted territory. Further work is needed to broaden the horizons on the understanding of ASD.
PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) is a Parkinson's disease (PD) gene. We examined miRNAs regulated by PINK1 during brain development and neural stem cell (NSC) differentiation, and found that lvels of miRNAs related to tumors and inflammation were different between 1-day-old-wild type (WT) and PINK1-knockout (KO) mouse brains. Notably, levels of miR-326, miR-330 and miR-3099, which are related to astroglioma, increased during brain development and NSC differentiation, and were significantly reduced in the absence of PINK1. Interestingly, in the presence of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), which pushes differentiation of NSCs into astrocytes, miR-326, miR-330, and miR-3099 levels in KO NSCs were also lower than those in WT NSCs. Furthermore, mimics of all three miRNAs increased expression of the astrocytic marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) during differentiation of KO NSCs, but inhibitors of these miRNAs decreased GFAP expression in WT NSCs. Moreover, these miRNAs increased the translational efficacy of GFAP through the 3'-UTR of GFAP mRNA. Taken together, these results suggest that PINK1 deficiency reduce expression levels of miR-326, miR-330 and miR-3099, which may regulate GFAP expression during NSC differentiation and brain development.
Neuronal senescence caused by diabetic neuropathy is considered a common complication of diabetes mellitus. Neuronal senescence leads to the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines, the production of reactive oxygen species, and the alteration of cellular homeostasis. Agmatine, which is biosynthesized by arginine decarboxylation, has been reported in previous
Copy number variations at multiple chromosomal loci, including 16p11.2, have recently been implicated in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a neurodevelopmental disease that affects 1~3% of children worldwide. The aim of this study was to investigate the roles of human genes at the 16p11.2 loci in synaptic development using
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an antibody-mediated autoimmune disease characterized by exertional weakness. There is no biomarker to reflect disease activity and guide treatment decision. Here, we reported a pilot blood transcriptome study using RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) that identified differences of 5 samples in active status and 5 in remission from 8 different patients and 2 patients provided samples for both active and remission phase. We found a total of 28 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) possibly related to disease activity (23 up-regulated and 5 down-regulated). The DEGs were enriched for the cell motion and cell migration processes in which included were ICAM1, CCL3, S100P and GAB2. The apoptosis and cell death pathway was also significantly enriched, which includes NFKBIA, ZC3H12A, TNFAIP3, and PPP1R15A. Our result suggests that transcript abundance profiles of the genes involved in cell trafficking and apoptosis may be a molecular signature of the disease activity in MG patients.
Many researchers are using viruses to deliver genes of interest into the brains of laboratory animals. However, certain target brain cells are not easily infected by viruses. Moreover, the differential tropism of different viruses in monkey brain is not well established. We investigated the cellular tropism of lentivirus and adeno-associated virus (AAV) toward neuron and glia in the brain of cynomolgus monkeys (