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Toronto, Canada

Leigland L.A.,Oregon Health And Science University | Ford M.M.,Oregon Health And Science University | Lerch J.P.,The Mouse Imaging Center | Kroenke C.D.,Oregon Health And Science University
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research | Year: 2013

Background: Fetal alcohol syndrome and related disorders (commonly referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, or FASD) cause significant hardships to the individuals affected. Previously, histological studies in animals have characterized developmental cerebral cortical abnormalities that result from prenatal ethanol (EtOH) exposure. Additionally, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have identified abnormalities associated with fetal EtOH exposure in the cerebral cortices of human children and adolescents. However, there is still a need to bridge the gap between human MRI studies and animal histological studies. The goal of the research presented here was to perform postmortem MRI experiments on rodents, during time periods relative to late human gestation through adulthood, to characterize anomalies associated with FASD throughout development. Additionally, by determining how histologically identified abnormalities are manifest in MRI measurements specifically during the critical early time points, neuroimaging-based biomarkers of FASD can potentially be identified at much earlier ages in humans, thus reducing the impact of these disorders. Methods: Cerebral cortical volume, thickness, and surface area were characterized by ex vivo MRI in Long-Evans rat pups born from dams that were EtOH-treated, maltose/dextrin-treated, or untreated throughout gestation at 6 developmental time points (postnatal day [P] 0, P3, P6, P11, P19, and P60). Results: Brain volume, isocortical volume, isocortical thickness, and isocortical surface area were all demonstrated to be reduced following prenatal exposure to EtOH. Significant differences among the treatment groups were observed throughout the range of time points studied, allowing for a comprehensive view of FASD influenced MRI outcomes throughout development. Isocortical surface area and isocortical thickness results contributed independent information important to interpreting effects of prenatal EtOH exposure on cerebral cortical development. Additionally, regional patterns in cortical thickness differences suggested primary sensory areas were particularly vulnerable to gestational EtOH exposure. Conclusions: Structural MRI measurements were in accordance with previous histological studies performed in animal models of FASD. In addition to establishing a summary of MRI outcomes throughout development in FASD, this research suggests that MRI techniques are sufficiently sensitive to detect neuroanatomical effects of fetal EtOH exposure on development of the cerebral cortex during the period of time corresponding to late gestation in humans. Importantly, this research provides a link between animal histological data and human MRI data. © 2013 by the Research Society on Alcoholism. Source

Singaraja R.R.,University of British Columbia | Huang K.,University of British Columbia | Sanders S.S.,University of British Columbia | Milnerwood A.J.,University of British Columbia | And 14 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2011

Huntingtin interacting protein 14 (HIP14, ZDHHC17) is a huntingtin (HTT) interacting protein with palmitoyl transferase activity. In order to interrogate the function of Hip14, we generated mice with disruption in their Hip14 gene. Hip142/2 mice displayed behavioral, biochemical and neuropathological defects that are reminiscent of Huntington disease (HD). Palmitoylation of other HIP14 substrates, but not Htt, was reduced in the Hip142/2 mice. Hip14 is dysfunctional in the presence of mutant htt in the YAC128 mouse model of HD, suggesting that altered palmitoylation mediated by HIP14 may contribute to HD. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source

Blank M.C.,University of Chicago | Grinberg I.,University of Chicago | Aryee E.,University of Chicago | Laliberte C.,The Mouse Imaging Center | And 4 more authors.
Development | Year: 2011

Heterozygous deletions encompassing the ZIC1;ZIC4 locus have been identified in a subset of individuals with the common cerebellar birth defect Dandy-Walker malformation (DWM). Deletion of Zic1 and Zic4 in mice produces both cerebellar size and foliation defects similar to human DWM, confirming a requirement for these genes in cerebellar development and providing a model to delineate the developmental basis of this clinically important congenital malformation. Here, we show that reduced cerebellar size in Zic1 and Zic4 mutants results from decreased postnatal granule cell progenitor proliferation. Through genetic and molecular analyses, we show that Zic1 and Zic4 have Shh-dependent function promoting proliferation of granule cell progenitors. Expression of the Shh-downstream genes Ptch1, Gli1 and Mycn was downregulated in Zic1/4 mutants, although Shh production and Purkinje cell gene expression were normal. Reduction of Shh dose on the Zic1+/-;Zic4+/- background also resulted in cerebellar size reductions and gene expression changes comparable with those observed in Zic1-/-;Zic4-/- mice. Zic1 and Zic4 are additionally required to pattern anterior vermis foliation. Zic mutant folial patterning abnormalities correlated with disrupted cerebellar anlage gene expression and Purkinje cell topography during late embryonic stages; however, this phenotype was Shh independent. In Zic1+/-;Zic4+/-;Shh+/-, we observed normal cerebellar anlage patterning and foliation. Furthermore, cerebellar patterning was normal in both Gli2-cko and Smo-cko mutant mice, where all Shh function was removed from the developing cerebellum. Thus, our data demonstrate that Zic1 and Zic4 have both Shh-dependent and -independent roles during cerebellar development and that multiple developmental disruptions underlie Zic1/4-related DWM. © 2011. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. Source

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