Prenatal exposure to valproic acid increases the neural progenitor cell pool and induces macrocephaly in rat brain via a mechanism involving the GSK-3β/β-catenin pathway
- Prenatal exposure to valproic acid increases the neural progenitor cell pool and induces macrocephaly in rat brain via a mechanism involving the GSK-3β/β-catenin pathway
- 고효상; 김기찬; 최창순; 전세진; 권경자; 한설희; 이종민; 정재훈; 유종훈; 김종현; 고광호; 신찬영
- Neural Progenitor Cell; Autism; GSK-3β; β-catenin; Valrproic acid; Macrocephaly
- Issue Date
- VOL 63, NO 6, 1028-1041
- Autism is a spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by social isolation and lack of interaction. Anatomically, autism patients often show macrocephaly and high neuronal density. To investigate the mechanism underlying the higher neuronal populations seen in ASD, we subcutaneously injected VPA (400 mg/kg) into pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats on E12, an animal model often used in ASD study. Alternatively, cultured rat neural progenitor cells were treated with VPA. Until E18, VPA induced NPC proliferation and delayed neurogenesis in fetal brain, but the subsequent differentiation of NPCs to neurons increased brain neuronal density afterward. Similar findings were observed with NPCs treated with VPA in vitro. At a molecular level, VPA enhanced Wnt1 expression and activated the GSK-3β/β-catenin pathway. Furthermore, inhibition of this pathway attenuated the effects of VPA. The findings of this study suggest that an altered developmental process underlies the macrocephaly and abnormal brain structure observed in the autistic brain.
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