Lissencephaly spectrum (LIS) is one of the most severe neuronal migration disorders that ranges from agyria/pachygyria to subcortical band heterotopia. Approximately 80% of patients with the LIS spectrum carry mutations in either the LIS1 or DCX (doublecortin) genes which have an opposite gradient of severity. The aim of the study was to evaluate in detail the phenotype of DCX-associated lissencephaly and to look for genotype-phenotype correlations. Of the 180 male patients with DCX-related lissencephaly, 33 males (24 familial cases and nine cases with de novo mutations) were found with hemizygous DCX mutations and were clinically and genetically assessed here. DCX mutation analysis revealed that the majority of mutations were missense (79.2%), clustered in the two evolutionary conserved domains, N-DC and C-DC, of DCX. The most prominent radiological phenotype was an anteriorly predominant pachygyria or agyria (54.5%) although DCX-associated lissencephaly encompasses a complete range of LIS grades. The severity of neurological impairment was in accordance with the degree of agyria with severe cognitive impairment in all patients, inability to walk independently in over half and refractory epilepsy in more than a third. For genotype-phenotype correlations, patients were divided in two groups according to the location of DCX missense mutations. Patients with mutations in the C-DC domain tended to have a less severe lissencephaly (grade 4-5 in 58.3%) compared with those in the N-DC domain (grade 4-5 in 36.3%) although, in this dataset, this was not statistically significant (p = 0.12). Our evaluation suggests a putative correlation between phenotype and genotype. These data provide further clues to deepen our understanding of the function of the DCX protein and may give new insights into the molecular mechanisms that could influence the consequence of the mutation in the N-DC versus the C-DC domain of DCX.
"Seizures in SBH patients appear within the first decade of life, and often evolve to multifocal and refractory epilepsy. In addition to these symptoms, delayed motor development as well as hypotonia can be observed   , suggesting deficits in the neuromuscular system. "
"When this protein is absent, or mutated in mouse, migration is disorganized (Corbo et al., 2002; Kappeler et al., 2006) and retarded (Friocourt et al., 2007). DCX mutations in human produce a disorganized, unfolded cortex, with band heterotopia, where some neurons remain in cortical white matter and do not reach the cortex (Kerjan & Gleeson, 2007; Leger et al., 2008; Jaglin & Chelly, 2009). Two approaches have been used to explore how abnormal lamination due to DCX mutations produces an epileptic phenotype. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report data on the neuronal form, synaptic connectivity, neuronal excitability and epileptiform population activities generated by the hippocampus of animals with an inactivated doublecortin gene. The protein product of this gene affects neuronal migration during development. Human doublecortin (DCX) mutations are associated with lissencephaly, subcortical band heterotopia, and syndromes of intellectual disability and epilepsy. In Dcx(-/Y) mice, CA3 hippocampal pyramidal cells are abnormally laminated. The lamination defect was quantified by measuring the extent of the double, dispersed or single pyramidal cell layer in the CA3 region of Dcx(-/Y) mice. We investigated how this abnormal lamination affected two groups of synapses that normally innervate defined regions of the CA3 pyramidal cell membrane. Numbers of parvalbumin (PV)-containing interneurons, which contact peri-somatic sites, were not reduced in Dcx(-/Y) animals. Pyramidal cells in double, dispersed or single layers received PV-containing terminals. Excitatory mossy fibres which normally target proximal CA3 pyramidal cell apical dendrites apparently contact CA3 cells of both layers in Dcx(-/Y) animals but sometimes on basilar rather than apical dendrites. The dendritic form of pyramidal cells in Dcx(-/Y) animals was altered and pyramidal cells of both layers were more excitable than their counterparts in wild-type animals. Unitary inhibitory field events occurred at higher frequency in Dcx(-/Y) animals. These differences may contribute to a susceptibility to epileptiform activity: a modest increase in excitability induced both interictal and ictal-like discharges more effectively in tissue from Dcx(-/Y) mice than from wild-type animals.
European Journal of Neuroscience 01/2012; 35(2):244-56. DOI:10.1111/j.1460-9568.2011.07962.x · 3.18 Impact Factor
"As an example, LIS1 mutations usually give rise to agyria or pachygyria (grades 2–4 of severity), the parietal and occipital lobes being the most severely affected areas (p > a gradient) [21, 43, 131, 143]. On the contrary, lissencephaly due to DCX mutations is more severe in the frontal cortex (a > p gradient) [44, 109, 131]. However, rare males with DCX mutations have also been described with SCLH which is then more severe in anterior parts, and appears as an undulating band of gray matter in the frontal lobes beneath a nearly normal cortex . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type I lissencephaly or agyria-pachygyria is a rare developmental disorder which results from a defect of neuronal migration. It is characterized by the absence of gyri and a thickening of the cerebral cortex and can be associated with other brain and visceral anomalies. Since the discovery of the first genetic cause (deletion of chromosome 17p13.3), six additional genes have been found to be responsible for agyria-pachygyria. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge concerning these genetic disorders including clinical, neuropathological and molecular results. Genetic alterations of LIS1, DCX, ARX, TUBA1A, VLDLR, RELN and more recently WDR62 genes cause migrational abnormalities along with more complex and subtle anomalies affecting cell proliferation and differentiation, i.e., neurite outgrowth, axonal pathfinding, axonal transport, connectivity and even myelination. The number and heterogeneity of clinical, neuropathological and radiological defects suggest that type I lissencephaly now includes several forms of cerebral malformations. In vitro experiments and mutant animal studies, along with neuropathological abnormalities in humans are of invaluable interest for the understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms, highlighting the central role of cytoskeletal dynamics required for a proper achievement of cell proliferation, neuronal migration and differentiation.
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