Autistic mice without mercury

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Autistic mice without mercury

Postby Tim » Thu May 04, 2006 12:25 pm

Autism Link To Gene Mutation

Article Date: 04 May 2006 - 8:00am (PDT)

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, deleted the PTEN gene in parts of the brain of mice and found they exhibited autistic-like traits.

The researchers deleted the PTEN gene from parts of the hippocampus and the front of the brain. The hippocampus is an important part of the brain for memory, as well as for some other functions.

They found the mice exhibited deficits in social interaction. They were also much more sensitive to some stimuli which most mice would not normally be bothered with.

You can read about this study in the journal Neuron (May 4).

PTEN mutations in humans with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have also been reported, although a causal link between PTEN and ASD remains unclear.

The author of the study, Dr. Luis F. Parada, said "The exciting thing about these mice is it helps us to zero in on at least one anatomic location of abnormality, because we targeted the gene to very circumscribed regions of the brain. In diseases where virtually nothing is known, any inroad that gets into at least the right cell or the right biochemical pathway is very important."

Physical evidence for the reason for sensory overload, a problem experience by people with autism, was visible in the mice with the PTEN gene deleted. Scientists noticed the nerve cells in their brains were thicker than they should be, they also had more connections to other nerves than would be the case in mice without the deletion of that gene.

The researchers were excited that this discovery, thicker nerve cells and more connections between nerves, may be the first discovery of the anatomical regions where things go wrong in autistic patients.

The scientists plan to try out drugs with these mice. The aim will be to find out whether their condition can be reversed.

The researchers observed the following behavioural differences between normal mice and the mice with the PTEN gene deleted:

  • The PTEN deleted mice showed no interest in strange mice. Normal mice did.
  • On being presented with both another mouse and an inanimate object, the normal mice would be more interested in the other mouse. The PTEN deleted mice showed equal interest in both.
  • The normal mice, on being presented with new nesting material, would team up and start making a nest. The PTEN deleted mice would ignore it.
  • Female PTEN deleted mice would not care for their young well, many of their young died.
  • When placed in an open area the PTEN deleted mice became very stressed, unlike the normal mice.
  • The PTEN deleted mice became very stressed when gently picked up by humans, the normal mice rarely became stressed.
  • The PTEN deleted mice were much more stressed by sudden noises than the normal mice.

On the other hand, the PTEN deleted mice did not exhibit repetitive behaviour or movements, common among humans with autism.

Link To Abstract

Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today


Grandma C
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Postby Grandma C » Thu May 04, 2006 1:27 pm



Last edited by Grandma C on Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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I would wait till ...

Postby srinath » Thu May 04, 2006 5:08 pm

OK I guess they will slice the mice open at the end of these experiments and show us that they dont have any mercury ... Till then I wont hold my breath.

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Postby Tim » Mon May 29, 2006 4:59 pm

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Postby LM » Mon May 29, 2006 5:04 pm

Thanks for sharing the link Tim!

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Postby sashasmom » Mon May 29, 2006 7:50 pm

That is an interesting article. It'd be nice if they would show how to add that gene back in that they deleted so that families who have children with ASD and that specific gene issue could get some puzzle pieces linked together. I have never claimed to believe that all autism is mercury related. However the 5,000 on CK2 who chelated their kids have had great results with their childs symptoms, many even recovered so I definately believe that it's an issue in many of the kids, including mine.

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Postby dgdavis64 » Tue May 30, 2006 2:38 pm


CNS deletion of Pten in the mouse has revealed its roles in controlling cell size and number, thus providing compelling etiology for macrocephaly and Lhermitte-Duclos disease. PTEN mutations in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have also been reported, although **** a causal link between PTEN and ASD remains unclear.****

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