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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Deleterious effects of IL-9-activated mast cells and neuroprotection by antihistamine drugs in the developing mouse brain.

Elevated mean IL-9 serum levels have been observed in human neonates who will later develop cerebral palsy. In earlier studies, using a newborn mouse model of excitotoxic lesions mimicking those described in human cerebral palsy, we found that IL-9 pretreatment exacerbated brain damage produced by intracerebral injections of the glutamatergic analog ibotenate. Among its different cell targets, the Th2 cytokine IL-9 is a mast cell growth and differentiation factor that can cause mast cells to release various substances including histamine. In the present study, we sought to determine whether the deleterious effects of IL-9 in our mouse model were mediated by mast cells through histamine release. All mouse pups were pretreated with intraperitoneal injections of IL-9 or saline between postnatal days (P) P1 and P5. Immunohistochemistry for murine mast cell protease-1 performed on P5 showed an increased density of labeled cells in the neopallium of IL-9-treated Swiss pups as compared with controls. Western blot analysis confirmed the increased murine mast cell protease-1 brain content of IL-9-treated Swiss mice. IL-9 pretreatment had no significant effect on ibotenate-induced excitotoxic brain lesions in mast cell-deficient P5 pups (WBB6F1/J kit(W/W-v)), whereas IL-9 exacerbated these lesions in the control littermates with normal mast cell populations. Finally, cromoglycate or antihistamine drugs significantly reduced ibotenate-induced brain lesions in IL-9-treated Swiss pups. Taken together, these data suggest that recruitment of cerebral mast cells with histamine release may contribute to the exacerbation of neonatal excitotoxic brain lesions produced by IL-9. Neuroprotective strategies targeting mast cells may be useful in some neonates at risk for cerebral palsy.[1]


  1. Deleterious effects of IL-9-activated mast cells and neuroprotection by antihistamine drugs in the developing mouse brain. Patkai, J., Mesples, B., Dommergues, M.A., Fromont, G., Thornton, E.M., Renauld, J.C., Evrard, P., Gressens, P. Pediatr. Res. (2001) [Pubmed]
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