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brain evolution

Pierpaolo Cerullo, Paola Brancaccio, Serenella Anzilotti, Antonio Vinciguerra, Ornella Cuomo, Ferdinando Fiorino, Beatrice Severino, Paola Di Vaio, Gianfranco Di Renzo, Lucio Annunziato, Giuseppe Pignataro
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HI) accounts for the majority of developmental, motor and cognitive deficits in children, leading to life-long neurological impairments. Since the plasmamembrane sodium/calcium exchanger (NCX) plays a fundamental role in maintaining ionic homeostasis during adult brain ischemia, in the present work we aimed to demonstrate (1)the involvement of NCX in the pathophysiology of neonatal HI and (2)a possible NCX-based pharmacological intervention. HI was induced in neonatal mice at postnatal day 7(P7) by unilateral cut of the right common carotid artery, followed by 60 min exposure to 8%O2 ...
March 15, 2018: Neuropharmacology
Lysann Wagener, Maria Loconsole, Helen M Ditz, Andreas Nieder
Endowed with an elaborate cerebral cortex, humans and other primates can assess the number of items in a set, or numerosity, from birth on [1] and without being trained [2]. Whether spontaneous numerosity extraction is a unique feat of the mammalian cerebral cortex [3-7] or rather an adaptive property that can be found in differently designed and independently evolved neural substrates, such as the avian enbrain [8], is unknown. To address this question, we recorded single-cell activity from the nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL), a high-level avian association brain area [9-11], of numerically naive crows...
March 9, 2018: Current Biology: CB
Maria Martinez-Lage, Felix Sahm
The updated 2016 WHO classification of Central Nervous System tumors introduced a novel concept of neuropathology diagnostics. Molecular parameters are now included into the definition of several entities. This evolution from a previously purely histology-based classification to an integrated approach of histology and genetic characteristics has implications in daily diagnostic and clinical practice. Both the spectrum of diagnostic workup demanded from the neuropathologist and the range of relevant markers to be considered by clinicians and clinical investigators have increased...
February 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Daniel Cahill, Sevin Turcan
Malignant glioma is a common type of brain tumor that remains largely incurable. Although a definitive cell of origin of gliomas remains elusive, numerous population studies, sequencing efforts, and genetically engineered mouse models have contributed to our understanding of the early events that may lead to gliomagenesis. Herein we summarize our current knowledge on the population epidemiology of gliomas, heritable genetic risk factors, the somatic events that contribute to tumor evolution, and mouse models that have shed light on the glioma cell of origin...
February 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Malgorzata A Gazda, Pedro Andrade, Sandra Afonso, Jolita Dilyte, John P Archer, Ricardo J Lopes, Rui Faria, Miguel Carneiro
Racing pigeons have been selectively bred to find their way home quickly over what are often extremely long distances. This breed is of substantial commercial value and is also an excellent avian model to gain empirical insights into the evolution of traits associated with flying performance and spatial orientation. Here, we investigate the molecular basis of the superior athletic and navigational capabilities of racing pigeons using whole-genome and RNA sequencing data. We inferred multiple signatures of positive selection distributed across the genome of racing pigeons...
March 13, 2018: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Andrzej T Slominski, Michal A Zmijewski, Przemyslaw M Plonka, Jerzy P Szaflarski, Ralf Paus
The skin, a self-regulating protective barrier organ, is empowered with sensory and computing capabilities to counteract the environmental stressors to maintain/restore disrupted cutaneous homeostasis. These complex functions are coordinated by a cutaneous neuro-endocrine system that also communicates in a bidirectional fashion with the central nervous, endocrine and immune systems, all acting in concert to control body homeostasis. While ultraviolet energy (UV) has played an important role in the origin and evolution of life, UV absorption by the skin not only triggers mechanisms that defend skin integrity and regulate global homeostasis, but also induces skin pathology (e...
March 12, 2018: Endocrinology
Yanchun Ma, Kun Chen, Zhenhua Yang, Ming Guan
Lung cancer is the most common type of malignancy to metastasize to the brain, with the median survival time of patients being 6-11 months. In the present study, the aim was to compare the actionable gene mutation profiles of primary lung adenocarcinoma (LC) samples and LC brain metastasis (LCBM) samples through targeted sequencing. Next generation sequencing (NGS) of 13 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded LC samples and 15 LCBM samples was performed using a customized OncoAim™ cancer panel and OncoAim™ RNA fusion panel on the MiSeq platform...
April 2018: Oncology Letters
Verity A Jackson, Dimphna H Meijer, Maria Carrasquero, Laura S van Bezouwen, Edward D Lowe, Colin Kleanthous, Bert J C Janssen, Elena Seiradake
Teneurins are ancient cell-cell adhesion receptors that are vital for brain development and synapse organisation. They originated in early metazoan evolution through a horizontal gene transfer event when a bacterial YD-repeat toxin fused to a eukaryotic receptor. We present X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM structures of two Teneurins, revealing a ~200 kDa extracellular super-fold in which eight sub-domains form an intricate structure centred on a spiralling YD-repeat shell. An alternatively spliced loop, which is implicated in homophilic Teneurin interaction and specificity, is exposed and thus poised for interaction...
March 14, 2018: Nature Communications
Fang Wu, Haiqing Song, Qingfeng Ma, Jiayu Xiao, Tao Jiang, Xiaoqin Huang, Xiaoming Bi, Xiuhai Guo, Debiao Li, Qi Yang, Xunming Ji, Zhaoyang Fan
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The aim of the present study was to investigate atherosclerotic plaque characteristics in patients with artery-to-artery (A-to-A) embolic infarction by whole-brain high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging. METHODS: Seventy-four patients (mean age, 54.7±12.1 years; 59 men) with recent stroke in the territory of middle cerebral artery because of intracranial atherosclerotic disease were prospectively enrolled. Whole-brain high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging was performed in all the patients both precontrast and postcontrast administration by using a 3-dimensional T1-weighted vessel wall magnetic resonance imaging technique known as inversion-recovery prepared sampling perfection with application-optimized contrast using different flip angle evolutions...
March 14, 2018: Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation
Deborah J Bird, William J Murphy, Lester Fox-Rosales, Iman Hamid, Robert A Eagle, Blaire Van Valkenburgh
The evolution of mammalian olfaction is manifested in a remarkable diversity of gene repertoires, neuroanatomy and skull morphology across living species. Olfactory receptor genes (ORGs), which initiate the conversion of odorant molecules into odour perceptions and help an animal resolve the olfactory world, range in number from a mere handful to several thousand genes across species. Within the snout, each of these ORGs is exclusively expressed by a discrete population of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs), suggesting that newly evolved ORGs may be coupled with new OSN populations in the nasal epithelium...
March 14, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Dean Falk, Christoph P E Zollikofer, Marcia Ponce de León, Katerina Semendeferi, José Luis Alatorre Warren, William D Hopkins
The only direct source of information about hominin brain evolution comes from the fossil record of endocranial casts (endocasts) that reproduce details of the external morphology of the brain imprinted on the walls of the braincase during life. Surface traces of sulci that separate the brain's convolutions (gyri) are reproduced sporadically on early hominin endocasts. Paleoneurologists rely heavily on published descriptions of sulci on brains of great apes, especially chimpanzees (humans' phylogenetically closest living relatives), to guide their identifications of sulci on ape-sized hominin endocasts...
March 13, 2018: Brain, Behavior and Evolution
James A Roberts, Karl J Friston, Michael Breakspear
Brain activity derives from intrinsic dynamics (due to neurophysiology and anatomical connectivity) in concert with stochastic effects that arise from sensory fluctuations, brainstem discharges, and random microscopic states such as thermal noise. The dynamic evolution of systems composed of both dynamic and random fluctuations can be studied with stochastic dynamic models (SDMs). This article, Part II of a two-part series, reviews applications of SDMs to large-scale neural systems in health and disease. Stochastic models have already elucidated a number of pathophysiological phenomena, such as epilepsy and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, although their use in biological psychiatry remains rather nascent...
April 2017: Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
James A Roberts, Karl J Friston, Michael Breakspear
Biological phenomena arise through interactions between an organism's intrinsic dynamics and stochastic forces-random fluctuations due to external inputs, thermal energy, or other exogenous influences. Dynamic processes in the brain derive from neurophysiology and anatomical connectivity; stochastic effects arise through sensory fluctuations, brainstem discharges, and random microscopic states such as thermal noise. The dynamic evolution of systems composed of both dynamic and random effects can be studied with stochastic dynamic models (SDMs)...
April 2017: Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
Anas Z Abidin, Adora M DSouza, Mahesh B Nagarajan, Lu Wang, Xing Qiu, Giovanni Schifitto, Axel Wismüller
HIV is capable of invading the brain soon after seroconversion. This ultimately can lead to deficits in multiple cognitive domains commonly referred to as HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Clinical diagnosis of such deficits requires detailed neuropsychological assessment but clinical signs may be difficult to detect during asymptomatic injury of the central nervous system (CNS). Therefore neuroimaging biomarkers are of particular interest in HAND. In this study, we constructed brain connectivity profiles of 40 subjects (20 HIV positive subjects and 20 age-matched seronegative controls) using two different methods: a non-linear mutual connectivity analysis approach and a conventional method based on Pearson's correlation...
2018: NeuroImage: Clinical
Jessica M de Souza, Bruno D C Goncalves, Marcus V Gomez, Luciene B Vieira, Fabiola M Ribeiro
Neurodegenerative diseases affect millions of individuals worldwide. So far, no disease-modifying drug is available to treat patients, making the search for effective drugs an urgent need. Neurodegeneration is triggered by the activation of several cellular processes, including oxidative stress, mitochondrial impairment, neuroinflammation, aging, aggregate formation, glutamatergic excitotoxicity, and apoptosis. Therefore, many research groups aim to identify drugs that may inhibit one or more of these events leading to neuronal cell death...
2018: Frontiers in Pharmacology
Diego A R Zorio, Scott Monsma, Dan H Sanes, Nace L Golding, Edwin W Rubel, Yuan Wang
The Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus) is a member of the rodent family that displays several features not found in mice or rats, including sensory specializations and social patterns more similar to those in humans. These features have made gerbils a valuable animal for research studies of auditory and visual processing, brain development, learning and memory, and neurological disorders. Here, we report the whole gerbil annotated genome sequence, and identify important similarities and differences to the human and mouse genomes...
March 8, 2018: Genomics
Edward H Reynolds
The word hysteria originated in the Corpus Hippocraticum (c420 BCE) as a natural explanation for a variety of diseases in women linked in the Greco-Roman mind to an animate or inanimate womb, but which in the last five centuries has evolved to describe an elusive disorder of brain ± mind in men and women, currently referred to by neurologists as "functional neurological disorder". The Babylonians, Assyrians and Egyptians had no knowledge of brain or psychological function. Babylonian and Assyrian descriptions of disease and behaviour include only rare examples suggestive of modern hysteria...
February 17, 2018: Journal of the Neurological Sciences
Marcus Unterrainer, C Mahler, L Vomacka, S Lindner, J Havla, M Brendel, G Böning, B Ertl-Wagner, T Kümpfel, V M Milenkovic, R Rupprecht, M Kerschensteiner, P Bartenstein, Nathalie L Albert
PURPOSE: Expression of the translocator protein (TSPO) is upregulated in activated macrophages/microglia and is considered to be a marker of neuroinflammation. We investigated the novel TSPO ligand [18 F]GE-180 in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) to determine the feasibility of [18 F]GE-180 PET imaging in RRMS patients and to assess its ability to detect active inflammatory lesions in comparison with the current gold standard, contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)...
March 9, 2018: European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Tae-Yoon S Park, Ji-Hoon Kihm, Jusun Woo, Changkun Park, Won Young Lee, M Paul Smith, David A T Harper, Fletcher Young, Arne T Nielsen, Jakob Vinther
Recent discoveries of fossil nervous tissue in Cambrian fossils have allowed researchers to trace the origin and evolution of the complex arthropod head and brain based on stem groups close to the origin of the clade, rather than on extant, highly derived members. Here we show that Kerygmachela from Sirius Passet, North Greenland, a primitive stem-group euarthropod, exhibits a diminutive (protocerebral) brain that innervates both the eyes and frontal appendages. It has been surmised, based on developmental evidence, that the ancestor of vertebrates and arthropods had a tripartite brain, which is refuted by the fossil evidence presented here...
March 9, 2018: Nature Communications
Daniela A Grassi, Marie E Jönsson, Per Ludvik Brattås, Johan Jakobsson
TRIM28 is an epigenetic co-repressor protein that mediates transcriptional silencing. TRIM28 participates, together with the large family of Kruppel-associated box domain zinc finger proteins (KRAB-ZFP) transcription factors, in the repression of transposable elements (TE). Recent advances indicate that TRIM28-based repression of TEs occurs in the mammalian brain and may provide beneficial effects through the regulation of transcriptional networks. Here, we provide an overview of TRIM28-related functions, highlighting the role of controlling TEs in neural progenitor cells and discuss how this mechanism may have contributed to the evolution of the complex human brain...
March 6, 2018: Brain Research
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