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ABSTRACT: Neural tube defects (NTDs) are the leading cause of disability in human arising from the malformation of the central nervous system. The genes responsible and their involvement in causing neural tube defects in humans are poorly understood. Gene expression analysis in a whole organism enable the identification of the possible role of the gene being studied. If the gene is expressed in a particular tissue at a certain period of development, this spatiotemporal pattern of the gene of interest signals the possibility that the gene serves a function of being switched on in those tissues at that particular time. In this report, we have identified possible gene candidates in the mouse which may be required for the development of the neural tube, the precursor to the brain and the spinal cord. Development of the brain occurs by closure of the anterior neuropore (forms the cranial neural tube) while the spinal cord forms due to resolution of the posterior neuropore (forms the caudal neural tube). The genes Tiam1 and T-cadherin were found to be likely candidate genes for the development of the spinal cord and may serve as potential human NTDs genes.
Orient Neuron Nexus. 06/2010; 1(1):2-6.