Neurons in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome make more connections during a critical period in development compared with controls, but are slower to respond to signals.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Tag: mouse models
Probiotic bacteria alleviate stress in healthy mice and modify the expression of receptors for a chemical messenger that inhibits signaling in the brain.
Loss of MeCP2, the Rett syndrome gene, in neurons that release the chemical messenger dopamine may lead to the motor deficits associated with the syndrome.
A compound that shows promise as a treatment for fragile X syndrome alleviates repetitive behaviors in mice, but unexpectedly makes them less social.
BTBR mice, which are less social than the typical B6 mice, have an elevated immune response in their brains and blood compared with those mice, according to a study published 20 July in PLoS ONE. Hybrids of BTBR and B6 mice have intermediate levels of immune molecules.
MeCP2, the protein missing in people with Rett syndrome, enhances learning and memory by binding to key genes and either activating or inhibiting their expression, according to a study published 17 July in Nature Neuroscience. Adding a phosphate to the protein in response to neuronal activity releases MeCP2 from these genes, the study found.
Researchers are creating a population of inbred lab mice with the potential to produce thousands of genetically diverse strains. Experiments using the first of these mice are published in the August issue of Genomic Research.