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Edlow B.L.,Brigham and Women's Hospital | Edlow B.L.,ilip Kistler Stroke Research Center | Edlow B.L.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Takahashi E.,Fetal Neonatal Neuroimaging and Developmental Science Center | And 14 more authors.
Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology | Year: 2012

The ascending reticular activating system (ARAS) mediates arousal, an essential component of human consciousness. Lesions of the ARAS cause coma, the most severe disorder of consciousness. Because of current methodological limitations, including of postmortem tissue analysis, the neuroanatomic connectivity of the human ARAS is poorly understood. We applied the advanced imaging technique of high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) to elucidate the structural connectivity of the ARAS in 3 adult human brains, 2 of which were imaged postmortem. High angular resolution diffusion imaging tractography identified the ARAS connectivity previously described in animals and also revealed novel human pathways connecting the brainstem to the thalamus, the hypothalamus, and the basal forebrain. Each pathway contained different distributions of fiber tracts from known neurotransmitter-specific ARAS nuclei in the brainstem. The histologically guided tractography findings reported here provide initialevidence for human-specific pathways of the ARAS. The unique composition of neurotransmitter-specific fiber tracts within each ARAS pathway suggests structural specializations that subserve the different functional characteristics of human arousal. This ARAS connectivity analysis provides proof of principle that HARDI tractography may affect the study of human consciousness and its disorders, including in neuropathologic studies of patients dying in coma and the persistent vegetative state. © 2012 by the American Association of Neuropathologists, Inc.


Riccio A.,Manton Center for Orphan Disease | Koirala S.,Fm Kirby Neurobiology Center | Kim A.H.,Brigham and Women's Hospital | Corfas G.,Harvard University | Corfas G.,Fm Kirby Neurobiology Center
Genes and Development | Year: 2011

Department of Neurosurgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels have been implicated as sensors of diverse stimuli in mature neurons. However, developmental roles for TRP channels in the establishment of neuronal connectivity remain largely unexplored. Here, we identify an essential function for TRPC5, a member of the canonical TRP subfamily, in the regulation of dendrite patterning in the mammalian brain. Strikingly, TRPC5 knockout mice harbor long, highly branched granule neuron dendrites with impaired dendritic claw differentiation in the cerebellar cortex. In vivo RNAi analyses suggest that TRPC5 regulates dendrite morphogenesis in the cerebellar cortex in a cellautonomous manner. Correlating with impaired dendrite patterning in the cerebellar cortex, behavioral analyses reveal that TRPC5 knockout mice have deficits in gait and motor coordination. Finally, we uncover the molecular basis of TRPC5's function in dendrite patterning. We identify the major protein kinase calcium/calmodulindependent kinase II b (CaMKIIb) as a critical effector of TRPC5 function in neurons. Remarkably, TRPC5 forms a complex specifically with CaMKIIb, but not the closely related kinase CaMKIIa, and thereby induces the CaMKIIb-dependent phosphorylation of the ubiquitin ligase Cdc20-APC at the centrosome. Accordingly, centrosomal CaMKIIb signaling mediates the ability of TRPC5 to regulate dendrite morphogenesis in neurons. Our findings define a novel function for TRPC5 that couples calcium signaling to a ubiquitin ligase pathway at the centrosome and thereby orchestrates dendrite patterning and connectivity in the brain. © 2011 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


Mutch C.A.,University of California at San Francisco | Poduri A.,Epilepsy Genetics Program | Poduri A.,Fm Kirby Neurobiology Center | Poduri A.,Harvard University | And 10 more authors.
American Journal of Neuroradiology | Year: 2016

Background and Purpose: A number of recent studies have described malformations of cortical development with mutations of components of microtubules and microtubule-associated proteins. Despite examinations of a large number of MRIs, good phenotype-genotype correlations have been elusive. Additionally, most of these studies focused exclusively on cerebral cortical findings. The purpose of this study was to characterize imaging findings associated with disorders of microtubule function. MATERIALS AND METHODS: MRIs from 18 patients with confirmed tubulin mutations (8 TUBA1A, 5 TUBB2B, and 5 TUBB3) and 15 patients with known mutations of the genes encoding microtubule-associated proteins (5 LIS1, 4 DCX, and 6 DYNC1H1) were carefully visually analyzed and compared. Specific note was made of the cortical gyral pattern, basal ganglia, and white matter to assess internal capsular size, cortical thickness, ventricular and cisternal size, and the size and contours of the brain stem, cerebellar hemispheres and vermis, and the corpus callosum of patients with tubulin and microtubule-associated protein gene mutations. Results were determined by unanimous consensus of the authors. RESULTS: All patients had abnormal findings on MR imaging. A large number of patients with tubulin gene mutations were found to have multiple cortical and subcortical abnormalities, including microcephaly, ventriculomegaly, abnormal gyral and sulcal patterns (termed "dysgyria"), a small or absent corpus callosum, and a small pons. All patients with microtubule-associated protein mutations also had abnormal cerebral cortices (predominantly pachygyria and agyria), but fewer subcortical abnormalities were noted. CONCLUSIONS: Comparison of MRIs from patients with known mutations of tubulin genes and microtubule-associated proteins allows the establishment of some early correlations of phenotype with genotype and may assist in identification and diagnosis of these rare disorders.

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