home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  

The Downside Of A Good Defence

  July, 10 2008 8:40
your information resource in human molecular genetics

Many babies experience a temporary lack of oxygen during birth, and some children suffer long-lasting brain damage as a consequence. A study published online in Nature Neuroscience provides a potential explanation for this effect, by identifying a specific pathway by which low oxygen can disturb the development of an immature nervous system.

Although complete loss of oxygen rapidly kills nerve cells, which may explain some of the lasting damage, low oxygen levels are also known to switch on an evolutionarily ancient defensive mechanism in all cells. This mechanism is dependent on the transcription factor HIF-1. HIF-1 enhances anaerobic metabolism and blood vessel growth. But it is not known whether HIF-1 exerts any specific effects on nerve cells.

Roger Pocock and Oliver Hobert exposed pregnant roundworms to very low levels of oxygen, and then studied the nervous system in the offspring. They found very specific defects in the embryonic migration and axon growth of particular -- but not all -- nerve cells. Low oxygen increased expression of a receptor that is known to function in axon growth and migration, Vab-1. The specific nerve cell defects did not occur in mutant worms lacking either HIF-1 or Vab-1.

Author contacts:

Oliver Hobert (Columbia University, New York, NY, USA)
E-mail: or38@columbia.edu

Roger Pocock (Columbia University, New York, NY, USA)
E-mail: rp2184@columbia.edu

Abstract available online.

(C) Nature Neuroscience press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2023 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.