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Platelet derived growth factor A (PDGFA; PDGF1)

A study in mice suggests lithium could help treat neonatal hydrocephalus, an expansion of the cerebral ventricles. In a mouse model of Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) in which the animals develop hydrocephalus, oligodendrocyte precursor cells from the diseased mice had a decreased response to PDGFA, a known survival signaling pathway in these cells, compared with the same cell population from wild-type mice. In BBS mice, lithium, which nonspecifically stimulates downstream effectors in the PDGFA pathway, decreased ventricle volume compared with control treatment. Next steps include testing the effects of lithium in additional hydrocephalus mouse models and the effects of combination therapy using lithium and antiapoptotic drugs.

SciBX 5(48); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1266
Published online Dec. 13, 2012

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Carter, C.S. et al. Nat. Med.; published online Nov. 18, 2012;
Contact: Val C. Sheffield, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa