The D-aspartate oxidase (DDO) gene encodes the enzyme responsible for the catabolism of D-aspartate, an atypical amino acid enriched in the mammalian brain and acting as an endogenous NMDA receptor agonist. Considering the key role of NMDA receptors in neurodevelopmental disorders, recent findings suggest a link between D-aspartate dysmetabolism and schizophrenia. To clarify the role of D-aspartate on brain development and functioning, we used a mouse model with constitutive Ddo overexpression and D-aspartate depletion. In these mice, we found reduced number of BrdU-positive dorsal pallium neurons during corticogenesis, and decreased cortical and striatal gray matter volume at adulthood. Brain abnormalities were associated with social recognition memory deficit at juvenile phase, suggesting that early D-aspartate occurrence influences neurodevelopmental related phenotypes. We corroborated this hypothesis by reporting the first clinical case of a young patient with severe intellectual disability, thought disorders and autism spectrum disorder symptomatology, harboring a duplication of a chromosome 6 region, including the entire DDO gene.

D-aspartate oxidase gene duplication induces social recognition memory deficit in mice and intellectual disabilities in humans

Migliarini S.;Barsotti N.;Borello U.;Pasqualetti M.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

The D-aspartate oxidase (DDO) gene encodes the enzyme responsible for the catabolism of D-aspartate, an atypical amino acid enriched in the mammalian brain and acting as an endogenous NMDA receptor agonist. Considering the key role of NMDA receptors in neurodevelopmental disorders, recent findings suggest a link between D-aspartate dysmetabolism and schizophrenia. To clarify the role of D-aspartate on brain development and functioning, we used a mouse model with constitutive Ddo overexpression and D-aspartate depletion. In these mice, we found reduced number of BrdU-positive dorsal pallium neurons during corticogenesis, and decreased cortical and striatal gray matter volume at adulthood. Brain abnormalities were associated with social recognition memory deficit at juvenile phase, suggesting that early D-aspartate occurrence influences neurodevelopmental related phenotypes. We corroborated this hypothesis by reporting the first clinical case of a young patient with severe intellectual disability, thought disorders and autism spectrum disorder symptomatology, harboring a duplication of a chromosome 6 region, including the entire DDO gene.
Lombardo, B.; Pagani, M.; De Rosa, A.; Nunziato, M.; Migliarini, S.; Garofalo, M.; Terrile, M.; D'Argenio, V.; Galbusera, A.; Nuzzo, T.; Ranieri, A.; Vitale, A.; Leggiero, E.; Di Maio, A.; Barsotti, N.; Borello, U.; Napolitano, F.; Mandarino, A.; Carotenuto, M.; Heresco-Levy, U.; Pasqualetti, M.; Malatesta, P.; Gozzi, A.; Errico, F.; Salvatore, F.; Pastore, L.; Usiello, A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1151079
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