Author(s): Saywell V, Viola A, ConfortGouny S, Le Fur Y, Villard L,
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Abstract Rett syndrome, a neurodevelopmental X-linked disorder, represents the most important genetic cause of severe mental retardation in the female population and results from a mutation in the gene encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2). We report here the first characterization of Mecp2-null mice, by in vivo magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, delineating the cerebral phenotype associated with the lack of Mecp2. We performed a morphometric study that revealed a size reduction of the whole brain and of structures involved in cognitive and motor functions (cerebellum and motor cortex). Significant metabolic anomalies, including reduced N-acetylaspartate, myo-inositol, and glutamine plus glutamate, and increased choline levels were evidenced. These findings indicate that not only neuronal but also glial metabolism is affected in Mecp2-null mice. Furthermore, we uncovered an important reduction of brain ATP level, a hitherto undetected anomaly of energy metabolism that may reflect and contribute to cerebral injury and dysfunction.
This article was published in Biochem Biophys Res Commun
and referenced in Autism-Open Access