The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, the National Institute of Genetics, and the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research have found evidence that adult learning abilities are formed in childhood.It was discovered that a protein called α2 adrenergic, which works in the brain as a child, is involved in the morphology of nerve cells.
In our brain, innumerable nerve cells are connected to form a huge network.An important role in learning ability is a "thorn" -like structure called a spine that exists at the connection between cells.Spine grows and increases in number as it forms normal memory.It has been found that spines are abnormally large and excessively increased in the brains of patients with autism and schizophrenia.However, it was not clear at what stage of development spine formation occurred and what substances were involved.
Previous studies by the group have shown that deficiency of α2 chimerin, a protein that works strongly in children, causes abnormal development of learning ability and nerve cell crosstalk.This also causes abnormalities in learning ability after becoming an adult.In this study, we focused on the relationship between the function of α2 chimerin and spine formation. Examination of the brains of genetically modified mice that were unable to make α2 chimerin revealed that the spines were larger and the number was higher than in normal mice.This means that α2 chimerin suppresses the size and number of spines.In this way, we found that α2 chimerin has the function of suppressing the excessive formation of spines to maintain an appropriate memory capacity.
It has been found that α2 adrenergic deficiency is responsible for the abnormal development of learning ability, but its association with developmental disorders has not yet been clarified.In the future, we plan to proceed with research that will lead to an understanding of the developmental mechanisms and developmental disorders of the entire brain of children.
Source:[The Graduate University for Advanced Studies] "The baseline of memory and learning ability is created in childhood! 』\