Nerve Cell Growth and Autism

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Nerve Cell Growth and Autism

Postby BadgerJelly on January 14th, 2019, 3:51 pm 

Nerve cells from people with autism grow unusually big and fast

Young nerve cells derived from people with autism are precocious, growing bigger and developing sooner than cells taken from people without autism, a new study shows.


Compared with cells derived from five people without autism, cells from eight people with autism grew bigger, with longer and more elaborate branches, the researchers found. Three-dimensional balls called organoids made of the autism-derived cells were bulkier, too. In addition to this physical development, a group of genes important for brain development switched on sooner.

Trouble in the autism-derived cells, however, actually began a bit earlier, just as the cells were on the cusp of becoming nerve cells. At the neural stem cell stage, certain spots of these cells’ chromatin — tightly packed genetic material — were more open and accessible than they should have been, an unfolding that can lead to abnormally active genes. The results show that open chromatin “can have major effects on neuronal development,” says neuroscientist David Amaral of the University of California, Davis.





https://www.sciencenews.org/article/ner ... ast?tgt=nr
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