brain development

images of cells

Grow those dendrites

UI biologists show how brain cells get the message to develop a signaling network
UI biologists have homed in on the genes that tell brain cells to grow the tendrils critical for passing messages throughout the body. In a new study, they report certain genes in nearby neurons need to be exact matches in order for the signaling branches to grow properly.

Faulty development of immature brain cells causes hydrocephalus

University of Iowa scientists have discovered a new cause of neonatal hydrocephalus. The team discovered that cell-signaling defects disrupt immature brain cells involved in normal brain development. Treatment with lithium bypasses the defect in mice and reduces the hydrocephalus.