Rett syndrome and neuronal development.

TitleRett syndrome and neuronal development.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsJohnston MV, Blue ME, Naidu S
JournalJournal of child neurology
Volume20
Issue9
Pagination759-63
Date Published2005 Sep
Abstract

The clinical signs of Rett syndrome, as well as neuropathology and brain imaging, suggest that the disorder disrupts neuronal circuits. Studies using receptor autoradiography demonstrate abnormalities in the density of excitatory glutamate and inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synaptic receptors in postmortem brain from young female subjects with Rett syndrome. MeCP2, the protein that is abnormal in most female individuals with Rett syndrome, is expressed predominantly in neurons and appears during development at the time of synapse formation. Studies of nasal epithelium from patients with Rett syndrome show that the maturation of olfactory receptor neurons is impeded prior to the time of synapse formation. Recent reports indicate that MeCP2 controls the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and the DNA-binding homeobox protein Dlx5. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor enhances glutamate neurotransmission at excitatory synapses, whereas Dlx5 is expressed in most GABAergic neurons and stimulates the synthesis of GABA. Taken together, this information supports the hypothesis that Rett syndrome is a genetic disorder of synapse development, especially synapses that use glutamate and GABA as neurotransmitters.

Alternate JournalJ. Child Neurol.