Gene associated with autism also controls growth of the embryonic brain

Gene associated with autism also controls growth of the embryonic brain

Publication date: Feb 12, 2020

They found that, in normally developing animals, the gene was active far earlier than previous studies have indicated – during the period when neural stem cells known as apical radial glia were just beginning to expand in numbers and generate a subset of brain cells found deep within the developing brain.

When mice lacked Foxp1, however, there were fewer apical radial glia at early stages of brain development, as well as fewer of the deep brain cells they normally produce.

When levels of Foxp1 were above normal, the researchers observed more apical radial glia and an excess of those deep brain cells that appear early in development.

The researchers also examined human brain tissue and discovered that Foxp1 is present not only in apical radial glia, as was seen in mice, but also in a second group of neural stem cells called basal radial glia.

However, when Novitch’s team elevated Foxp1 function in the brains of mice, cells resembling basal radial glia were formed.

In future research, Novitch and his colleagues are planning to study what genes Foxp1 regulates in apical radial glia and basal radial glia, and what roles those genes play in the developing brain.

Concepts Keywords
Alabama Regenerative Medicine
Austin FOX proteins
Autism Human brain
Autism Spectrum Disorder Cerebral cortex
Basal Glial cells
Birmingham Developmental neuroscience
Blood FOXP1
Brain Radial glial cell
Brain Stem Branches of biology
Embryonic Development
Intellectual Disability
Puerto Rico
Radial Glia
Spinal Cord


Type Source Name
disease MESH intellectual disability
disease MESH Cancer
disease MESH abnormalities
disease MESH autism spectrum disorder
disease MESH growth
disease MESH autism

Original Article

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