The neural stem cell/carnitine malnutrition hypothesis: new prospects for effective reduction of autism risk? Developmental Biology

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are developmental neuropsychiatric disorders with heterogeneous etiologies. As the incidence of these disorders is rising, such disorders represent a major human health problem with escalating social cost. Although recent years witnessed advances in our understanding of the genetic basis of some dysmorphic ASDs, little progress has been made in translating the improved understanding into effective strategies for ASD management or minimization of general ASD risk. Here we explore the idea, described in terms of the neural stem cell (NSC)/carnitine malnutrition hypothesis, that an unappreciated risk factor for ASD is diminished capacity for carnitine-dependent long-chain fatty acid β-oxidation in neural stem cells of the developing mammalian brain. The basic premise is that fetal carnitine status is a significant metabolic component in determining NSC vulnerability to derangements in their self-renewal program and, therefore, to fetal ASD risk. As fetal carnitine status exhibits a genetic component that relates to de novo carnitine biosynthesis and is sensitive to environmental and behavioral factors that affect maternal circulating carnitine levels, to which the fetus is exposed, we propose that reduced carnitine availability during gestation is a common risk factor that lurks beneath the genetically complex ASD horizon. One major prediction of the NSC/carnitine malnutrition hypothesis is that a significant component of ASD risk might be e...
Source: Journal of Biological Chemistry - Category: Chemistry Authors: Tags: ASBMB Award Articles Source Type: research

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Clusters of living brain cells are teaching scientists about diseases like autism. With a new finding, some experts wonder if these organoids may become too much like the real thing.
Source: NYT Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: your-feed-science Brain Zika Virus Laboratories and Scientific Equipment Stem Cells Pregnancy and Childbirth Biology and Biochemistry Autism International Space Station Biotechnology and Bioengineering Cell (Journal) University of Ca Source Type: news
Conclusion The key problem with the ND field is the lack of understanding in the events preceding the development of protein-based markers – such as Tau – currently used to diagnose NDs. By this stage, the diseases become more difficult to treat. SncRNAs play an important regulatory role in the maintenance of the homeostatic brain. Therefore, changes in their concentration levels can be indicative of mechanistic changes that could precede protein-based markers. One single sncRNA biomarker is unlikely to differentiate between diseases. However, a combination of sncRNA biomarkers could be illustrative of the me...
Source: Frontiers in Genetics - Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research
Novel Contribution of Secreted Amyloid-β Precursor Protein to White Matter Brain Enlargement in Autism Spectrum Disorder Deborah K. Sokol1, Bryan Maloney2, Cara J. Westmark3 and Debomoy K. Lahiri2,4* 1Pediatrics Section, Department of Neurology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, United States2Indiana Alzheimers Disease Center, Department of Psychiatry, Stark Neuroscience Research Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, United States3Department of Neurology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, United States4Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana Un...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
When Nichelle Obar learned she was pregnant with her second child last year, she never expected that her pregnancy, or her baby, would make history. But when the 40-year-old food-and-beverage coordinator from Hawaii and her fiancé Christopher Constantino went to their 18-week ultrasound, they learned something was wrong. The heart was larger than it should have been, and there was evidence that fluid was starting to build up around the organ as well. Both were signs that the fetus was working extra hard to pump blood to its fast-growing body and that its heart was starting to fail. Obar’s doctor knew what coul...
Source: TIME: Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Uncategorized medicine Source Type: news
For new moms, creating a baby registry may seem like fun at first but then can turn into a daunting task. With so many different baby items and options for each, where do you begin? Most people know the basics (clothes, diapers, etc.) but what about everything else? We broke it down to our top 10 must-haves to help new moms in creating their registry list. Stroller and Car Seat Combo Of course you need a car seat and you will want a stroller but make sure to get the travel system. With the travel system, the car seat slides out of its base and snaps right into the stroller and vice versa. This is perfect for when you&rsq...
Source: Cord Blood News - Category: Perinatology & Neonatology Authors: Tags: pregnancy Source Type: blogs
Publication date: 13 July 2017 Source:Neuroscience Letters, Volume 653 Author(s): Masashi Zuiki, Tomohiro Chiyonobu, Michiko Yoshida, Hiroshi Maeda, Satoshi Yamashita, Satoshi Kidowaki, Tatsuji Hasegawa, Hitoshi Gotoh, Tadashi Nomura, Katsuhiko Ono, Hajime Hosoi, Masafumi Morimoto Maternal infection during pregnancy increases the risk of neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia in offspring. Several previous animal studies have indicated that maternal immune activation (MIA), rather than a specific pathogen, alters fetal brain development. Among them, prenatal exposure to interleuk...
Source: Neuroscience Letters - Category: Neuroscience Source Type: research
Conclusion This study aimed to see whether smoking in pregnancy is linked with some traits of ASD in the smoker's grandchildren. Although this was based on a large cohort of children, the results give quite a confusing and inconclusive picture. To be frank, the study raised more questions than it answered. Maternal grandmother smoking was linked with ASD traits only in girls (in whom ASD is less common in any case) – and then only if their own mother did not smoke. When looking at actual diagnosed cases of autism, the link was only found in boys. The study had some important limitations to consider: Most of the dat...
Source: NHS News Feed - Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Pregnancy/child Neurology Mental health Genetics/stem cells Source Type: news
Conclusion: In utero exposure to environmental mutagens contributes to somatic and germline mosaicism, permanently affecting both the genetic health of the F1 and the population gene pool. Citation: Meier MJ, O’Brien JM, Beal MA, Allan B, Yauk CL, Marchetti F. 2017. In utero exposure to benzo[a]pyrene increases mutation burden in the soma and sperm of adult mice. Environ Health Perspect 125:82–88; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP211 *These authors contributed equally to this work. Address correspondence to F. Marchetti, Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau, Health Canada, 50 Colombine Driveway, Ot...
Source: EHP Research - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Research Articles January 2017 Source Type: research
Conclusion This experimental study in mice investigated the effect of Zika virus on adult brain cells, hoping to increase knowledge of the long-term outcomes of Zika virus on the adult brain. Zika was thought to be a short-term virus for adult humans without many long-term effects. The researchers' experiments in mice found that the two small areas in the adult mouse brain containing cells active in cell division can be susceptible to pronounced Zika infection leading to cell death and reduced cell division. While healthy humans may be able to mount an effective immune response to the virus, it is possible that immunocompr...
Source: NHS News Feed - Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Neurology Source Type: news
Conclusion This narrative review summarises past research on DNA changes that may occur as a result of a father's age and exposures that could be passed on to his children. In particular, the review discusses animal and human studies that have linked changes in offspring with increasing paternal age, stress and substance use.   But this review must largely be considered to only be an opinion piece. We don't know how the researchers identified, appraised and selected the studies they discussed. As such, there is a strong possibility that not all animal and human research relevant to the issue of paternal epigen...
Source: NHS News Feed - Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Genetics/stem cells Food/diet Lifestyle/exercise Pregnancy/child Source Type: news
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