PHARMACO- AND TOXICOGENETICS OF BRAIN
Byron C. Jones
Professor of Biobehavioral Health and Pharmacology
The Pennsylvania State University
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
12-1 pm Link Auditorium
Iron is an important trace metal that is involved in literally hundreds of biological processes, from enzyme activity to intermediate metabolism to cell pruning and death. In the brain, iron is necessary for the development and functioning of monoamine neurotransmitter systems, especially mesolimbic and nigrostriatal dopamine. Iron deficiency in infancy and childhood can cause developmental delays in cognition and may even produce ADHD-like symptoms. In adults, iron deficiency can produce attention problems and restless legs syndrome. Alternatively, iron can be quite toxic to the same DA systems and there are numerous known proteins that regulate iron, even to the extent of changing its oxidative state. Our work has been to discover new iron regulatory genes, proteins and pathways and to investigate iron-related neurotoxicity, especially how iron may exacerbate neurotoxicity of pesticides and environmental toxicants. In this seminar I will present our recent work on the variability in response to iron deficiency, possible candidate genes underlying this variable response and finally genetic differences in response to paraquat and MPTP and the role of iron in strain differences.