Breaking News
April 26, 2018 - FDA Alert: Lamictal (lamotrigine): Drug Safety Communication
April 26, 2018 - Massive single-cell survey of kidney cell types reveals new paths to disease
April 26, 2018 - Cognitive behavioral therapy can help children with autism manage emotional challenges
April 26, 2018 - CU Anschutz Medical Campus receives NIH grant to speed up discovery of new treatments
April 26, 2018 - Researchers discover significant distortions in leading genetics study method
April 26, 2018 - New combination therapy could improve survival in children with high-risk neuroblastoma
April 26, 2018 - Scientists clarify casual role of oxidative stress in metabolically abnormal and healthy obesities
April 26, 2018 - Home-based exercise program found ineffective for patients with peripheral artery disease
April 26, 2018 - Choroidal Thickness Changes in Patients With Untreated DM
April 26, 2018 - Medical chemists discover peptic ulcer treatment metallodrug effective in ‘taming’ superbugs
April 26, 2018 - UB researchers build 3D-printed, drug-filled dentures to fight against infections
April 26, 2018 - Researchers find role of iron storage gene in slowing down prostate cancer growth
April 26, 2018 - Study suggests link between regular mid-day naps and neurocognitive function in teens
April 26, 2018 - Researchers gain ground-breaking insights into how inflammatory diseases work
April 26, 2018 - Injured U.S. Vet Receives World’s First Penis/Scrotum Transplant
April 26, 2018 - Researchers find existing drug effective at preventing onset of type 1 diabetes
April 26, 2018 - MGH researchers identify risk factors for drug overdose in youth with substance use disorders
April 26, 2018 - Researchers develop new vaccine to help people overcome bath salts abuse
April 26, 2018 - Genetic signature predicts diabetes diagnosis
April 26, 2018 - Study shows link between restless legs syndrome symptoms and brain structure
April 26, 2018 - MU researchers use new techniques to fight against diabetic retinopathy
April 26, 2018 - AAE’s new practice statements aim at improving patient care
April 26, 2018 - Expression of long non-coding RNAs can result in high levels of specific proteins involved in cancer
April 26, 2018 - FDA re-examining safety of new drug approved for Parkinson’s disease psychosis
April 26, 2018 - Unanimous Positive Result of FDA Advisory Committee Meeting for First Plant-Based Pharmaceutical Cannabidiol Treatment for Seizures in Patients with Two Rare, Severe Forms of Epilepsy
April 26, 2018 - Bacteria boost antifungal drug resistance in severe childhood tooth decay
April 26, 2018 - New study affirms bedtime habits of Americans
April 26, 2018 - Hospital patients are more interested in tracking their health data, research shows
April 26, 2018 - Study shows gene variations associated with malaria risk
April 26, 2018 - Inhealthcare teams up with MSKassist to combat problems related to obesity and aging
April 26, 2018 - Caffeine during pregnancy – babies 66 percent more likely to become overweight
April 26, 2018 - FDA Approves Jynarque (tolvaptan) to Slow Kidney Function Decline in Rapidly Progressing Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease
April 26, 2018 - Pricey dental implants often best but insurance rarely pays
April 26, 2018 - Advion’s Peak Express software now available with the expression compact mass spectrometer
April 25, 2018 - Researchers find link between pneumonia in older people and PPI prescriptions
April 25, 2018 - Alcohol damages microbiome in the mouth
April 25, 2018 - Regular soaking in hot tub improves health outlook in obese women with PCOS
April 25, 2018 - FDA Alert: Magnetic Resonance-guided Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (MRgLITT) Devices: Letter to Health Care Providers
April 25, 2018 - Sunshine could hold clues on the timing for a severe form of heart attack, study says
April 25, 2018 - Sartorius Stedim Biotech launches mini bioreactor vessel for ambr 250 high throughput system
April 25, 2018 - Biofeedback-assisted relaxation may help children during medical procedures
April 25, 2018 - Key signaling protein in Huntington’s disease found to have deleterious effects on heart function, shows study
April 25, 2018 - Celecoxib Lowers Opioid Use Post Head & Neck Cancer Surgery
April 25, 2018 - New ‘brain health index’ can predict how well patients will do after stroke
April 25, 2018 - Positive interventions in sepsis management raise key questions about E. coli reduction targets
April 25, 2018 - Scientists identify new DNA structure within living human cells
April 25, 2018 - E. coli’s toxin-antitoxin system inhibits bacterial growth
April 25, 2018 - Researchers uncover reason why exercise may be beneficial for the heart
April 25, 2018 - Researcher presents case study of asymptomatic patient with severe mitral regurgitation
April 25, 2018 - Use ‘Proper Form’ When Practicing Yoga
April 25, 2018 - Study reports possible novel method for stopping untreatable pediatric brain cancers
April 25, 2018 - Visually guided walking paves way for better treatment for mobility impairments
April 25, 2018 - Researchers identify novel pathway in development of AML with poor prognosis
April 25, 2018 - Cardiovascular disease may only be a matter of time for people with healthy obesity
April 25, 2018 - Girls with type 2 diabetes have high frequency of menstrual irregularities
April 25, 2018 - Study explains why intense exercise curbs appetite
April 25, 2018 - Experimental drug for rheumatoid arthritis prevents side effect of stem cell transplants
April 25, 2018 - Why are Antibiotics Overprescribed for Meningitis Treatment?
April 25, 2018 - Consuming protein supplements with meals, rather than between meals, may promote weight control
April 25, 2018 - Seeing prostate cancer in a new light
April 25, 2018 - Jacobs Medical Center recognized with Baby Friendly Designation for efforts in mother-baby bonding
April 25, 2018 - Gene related to high fatality could be used as biomarker in patients with P. aeruginosa infection
April 25, 2018 - Study shows patients in major prostate cancer study are more likely to die than real-world patients
April 25, 2018 - HBP researchers develop new tool to examine role of genes in disease-relevant brain regions
April 25, 2018 - Trio’s pioneering silicone ostomy product wins prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise
April 25, 2018 - Study highlights potential of stem cells derived from adults in regenerative medicine
April 25, 2018 - A new, emerging procedure burns cancer cells
April 25, 2018 - Acclarent introduces real-time, 3D navigation system for ENT procedures
April 25, 2018 - Italy’s prestigious Veneto Institute of Oncology acquires MILabs’ latest VECTor5CT system
April 25, 2018 - Future screening is more likely for people with false-positive cancer screening results
April 25, 2018 - Tweezers made of laser beams manipulate atoms to make new molecules
April 25, 2018 - Elevated immune function during childhood linked to stunted growth
April 25, 2018 - FDA Accepts New Drug Application for Duvelisib and Grants Priority Review
April 25, 2018 - Research reveals autism and schizophrenia share common traits
April 25, 2018 - Perceived stress decreases for most women over 15-year span, study finds
April 25, 2018 - Coastal Genomics’ LightBench integrated with Hamilton liquid handler systems to bring efficiencies, savings for clinical laboratories
April 25, 2018 - Researchers discover new gene associated with aortic aneurysms
April 25, 2018 - Preantral zinc deficiency may affect fertility months
April 25, 2018 - Repurposing existing antiviral drugs for multiple infections
April 25, 2018 - Can GAC Be Used to Control Priority Unregulated DBPs in Drinking Water?
Lopsided ear function can lead to lopsided brain development

Lopsided ear function can lead to lopsided brain development

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
The left-hand panel shows a movement trace of a normal mouse (top) and an inner ear mutant mouse (bottom), viewed from above; the mutant mouse circles repetitively. The right-hand panel illustrates the findings of the paper; lopsided loss of function in the left ear of the embryo (top) leads to long-term asymmetry in the brain (bottom left), which in turn manifests as a preference for circling in a counterclockwise direction (bottom right). Credit: Antoine et al., 2018

Left-right differences in ear function have been found to lead to asymmetric brain development that affects the preferred direction of turning movement in mice. In a multi-national study publishing 13 March in the open access journal PLOS Biology, Michelle Antoine, Jean Hébert, and their colleagues at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine investigated the potential link between increased incidences of atypical asymmetries in motor behavior and defects in inner ear function.

Motor asymmetry is the preferential use of a limb or a body part on one side of the body, handedness or footedness being commonly known examples. Despite a long-standing fascination with asymmetries in left-right brain function by the public and scientific community alike, very little is known about the causes of functional brain asymmetry in mammals.

The authors used mice which have a genetic defect that affects the vestibular or balance-related function of their inner ear; these mice tend to “circle” repetitively, but their preferred direction of turning varies between individuals. Based on a series of genetic, surgical, and pharmacological experiments, researchers showed that even short-term imbalance of degenerating inner ear function in mice can lead to long-lasting asymmetries in the relative activity levels of two key neurotransmitters in the brain – glutamate and dopamine.

Asymmetry in these two neuronal signaling pathways correlated with the animal’s preferred spontaneous turning direction, such that the motor-dominant hemisphere had higher levels of glutamate neurotransmission and lower levels of dopamine signaling.

Furthermore, the authors could lessen or reverse the preferred turning direction by experimentally manipulating the levels of a specific signaling pathway (involving a protein called ERK) that integrates both glutamate and dopamine neurotransmission.

The authors also showed that their findings in mice could extend to humans with normal ear function. In experiments in which human subjects underwent brain imaging during stimulation to each ear, the ear with the weakest vestibular brain response correlated with the motor-dominant hemisphere, as measured by the participant’s handedness.

Functional brain asymmetry seems to arise independently of other anatomical asymmetries such as the positioning of the heart and liver, and no clear mechanism is known; by showing that early asymmetry in sensory input from the ear can permanently shape the asymmetric distribution of brain function, this study provides an important new insight.


Explore further:
Brain asymmetry improves processing of sensory information

More information:
Antoine MW, Zhu X, Dieterich M, Brandt T, Vijayakumar S, McKeehan N, et al. (2018) Early uneven ear input induces long-lasting differences in left-right motor function. PLoS Biol 16(3): e2002988. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.2002988

Journal reference:
PLoS Biology

Provided by:
Public Library of Science

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles