New Research Suggests Brain Enzyme IDO2 May Be Linked to Neurological Disorders

February 12, 2024

Mice Without IDO2 Gene Exhibited Behaviors Similar to Autism

New Japanese research explores how a brain enzyme called indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 2 (IDO2) could be related to certain complex neurological diseases, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study’s design involved examining mice without the IDO2 gene to analyze how it affected their behavior. The authors found that these mice showed behaviors similar to ASD, such as struggling to adjust to new surroundings and having trouble with social interactions. Looking at the chemicals and pathways in the brain, the research team noticed changes in how tryptophan and dopamine were handled. They also saw differences in the shape of certain brain cells and how they functioned. When they restored IDO2 in mice, the behaviors improved. Additionally, the authors conducted a genetic analysis of 309 clinical brain samples and discovered a mutation in the IDO2 gene in a teenager with ASD. They believe her symptoms could be partially explained by the alteration in her IDO2 gene. Ultimately, this study emphasizes the importance of IDO2 in brain development and suggests areas for more research to understand these disorders better. The findings shed light on the genetic and chemical aspects of psychiatric disorders, particularly ASD, which could help in developing treatments and understanding how these conditions develop.

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