Autonomic dysfunction with mutations in the gene that encodes methyl-CpG-binding protein 2: Insights into Rett syndrome

  • Author Footnotes
    1 D.T.L and W.W.W. contributed equally to this work.
    Daniel T. Lioy
    Footnotes
    1 D.T.L and W.W.W. contributed equally to this work.
    Affiliations
    Vollum Institute and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 D.T.L and W.W.W. contributed equally to this work.
    Wendy W. Wu
    Footnotes
    1 D.T.L and W.W.W. contributed equally to this work.
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA
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  • John M. Bissonnette
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author.at: Baird Hall, Room 3030C, L-458, Oregon Health and Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA. Tel.: +1 503 494 2101.
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA

    Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 D.T.L and W.W.W. contributed equally to this work.
Published:February 14, 2011DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autneu.2011.01.006

      Abstract

      Rett syndrome (RTT) is an autism spectrum disorder with an incidence of ~1:10,000 females (reviewed in Bird, 2008; Chahrour et al., 2007; Francke, 2006). Affected individuals are apparently normal at birth. Between 6–18 months of age, however, RTT patients begin to exhibit deceleration of head growth, replacement of purposeful hand movements with stereotypic hand wringing, loss of speech, social withdrawal and other autistic features. RTT is caused by loss of function mutations in the gene that encodes methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (Mecp2) (Amir et al., 1999), a transcriptional repressor that targets genes essential for neuronal survival, dendritic growth, synaptogenesis, and activity dependent plasticity. MECP2 is X-linked, and males die soon after birth. Included in the RTT phenotype are cardiorespiratory disorders involving the autonomic nervous system. The respiratory disorders, including the roles of bioaminergic and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling in the respiratory pathophysiology of RTT have been recently reviewed (Bissonnette et al., 2007a; Ogier et al., 2008; Katz et al., 2009). Here we will cover the work on RTT regarding respiration that has appeared since 2009 as well as cardiovascular abnormalities.
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