Research Publications Archive - Foundation for Prader-Willi Research | Neurobiology

A Transcriptomic Signature of the Hypothalamic Response to Fasting and BDNF Deficiency in Prader-Willi Syndrome

Transcriptional analysis of brain tissue from people with molecularly defined causes of obesity may highlight disease mechanisms and therapeutic targets. We performed RNA sequencing of hypothalamus from individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), a genetic obesity syndrome characterized by severe...

Neuronal differentiation induces SNORD115 expression and is accompanied by post-transcriptional changes of serotonin receptor 2c mRNA

The serotonin neurotransmitter system is widespread in the brain and implicated in modulation of neuronal responses to other neurotransmitters. Among 14 serotonin receptor subtypes, 5-HT2cR plays a pivotal role in controlling neuronal network excitability. Serotonergic activity conveyed through...

Hypothalamic loss of Snord116 recapitulates the hyperphagia of Prader-Willi syndrome

Profound hyperphagia is a major disabling feature of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). Characterization of the mechanisms that underlie PWS-associated hyperphagia has been slowed by the paucity of animal models with increased food intake or obesity. Mice with a microdeletion encompassing...

Loss of the imprinted, non-coding Snord116 gene cluster in the interval deleted in the Prader Willi syndrome results in murine neuronal and endocrine pancreatic developmental phenotypes

Global neurodevelopmental delay is a prominent characteristic of individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). The neuromolecular bases for these delays are unknown. We identified neuroanatomical changes in the brains of mice deficient for a gene in the minimal critical deletion region for PWS...

Dental pulp stem cells for the study of neurogenetic disorders

Dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) are a relatively new alternative stem cell source for the study of neurogenetic disorders. DPSC can be obtained non-invasively and collected from long-distances remaining viable during transportation. These highly proliferative cells express stem cell markers and...

Autism spectrum disorder: neuropathology and animal models

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has a major impact on the development and social integration of affected individuals and is the most heritable of psychiatric disorders. An increase in the incidence of ASD cases has prompted a surge in research efforts on the underlying neuropathologic processes. We...

Altered functional resting-state hypothalamic connectivity and abnormal pituitary morphology in children with Prader-Willi syndrome

Abstract BACKGROUND: Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder, characterized by endocrine problems and hyperphagia, indicating hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction. However, few studies have explored the underlying neurobiology of the hypothalamus and its functional...

PC1/3 Deficiency Impacts Pro-opiomelanocortin Processing in Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Hypothalamic Neurons

We recently developed a technique for generating hypothalamic neurons from human pluripotent stem cells. Here, as proof of principle, we examine the use of these cells in modeling of a monogenic form of severe obesity: PCSK1 deficiency. The cognate enzyme, PC1/3, processes many prohormones in...

Reduced Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Is Associated With Emotional and Behavioral Problems in Prader–Willi Syndrome

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is characterized by infantile hypotonia, hypogonadism, small hands and feet, distinct facial features and usually intellectual impairment. The disorder is associated with severe behavioral disturbances which include hyperphagia leading to morbid obesity, temper...

Efficient Generation of Hypothalamic Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

The hypothalamus comprises neuronal clusters that are essential for body weight regulation and other physiological functions. Insights into the complex cellular physiology of this region of the brain are critical to understanding the pathogenesis of obesity, but human hypothalamic cells are largely...