Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Molecular Neurodegeneration and BioMed Central.

This article is part of the supplement: Molecular Neurodegeneration: Basic biology and disease pathways

Open Access Open Badges Poster presentation

Ataxia-telangiectasia paradoxes: spotlight on post-zygotic chromosome instability in the brain and its contribution to neurodegeneration pathways

Yuri Yurov13*, Svetlana Vorsanova23, Thomas Liehr4 and Ivan Yurov15

  • * Corresponding author: Yuri Yurov

Author Affiliations

1 Mental Health Research Center, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia

2 Institute of Paediatrics and Paediatric Surgery, Ministry of Health, Moscow, Russia

3 Moscow City University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia

4 Institute of Human Genetics, Jena, Germany

5 Department of Medical Genetics, Russian Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education, Moscow, Russia

For all author emails, please log on.

Molecular Neurodegeneration 2013, 8(Suppl 1):P51  doi:10.1186/1750-1326-8-S1-P51

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:13 September 2013

© 2013 Yurov et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ataxia-telangiectasia is a syndrome of chromosome instability (CIN) featured by progressive neurodegeneration affecting the cerebellumin in contrast to other brain areas. Previously, progressive neuronal death in AT was hypothesized to be driven by increased post-zygotic CIN in the cerebellum [1-3]. To assess the possible involvement of neural CIN in neurodegenerative pathways we have analyzed CIN in AT brain.

Materials and methods

CIN was evaluated by high-resolution single cell (immuno-) FISH techniques in 7 AT and 7 control samples. Bioinformatics analyses of neurodegeneration pathways were done as described earlier [4].


Global aneuploidization affecting 20% of neurons and 80% of glial cells in the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum was observed. CIN in the cerebellum has affected specific chromosomes (7, 14, and X) similarly the immune system. Paradoxically, dramatic and age-dependent increase in the pathological level of CIN did not result in accelerated neurodegeneration in the brain of patients, but was associated with increased lifespan. Bioinformatics analyses have shown that the SMAD pathway is implicated in neurodegeneration in addition to genome integrity maintenance, somatic V(D)J recombination and DNA damage response in neural cells.


To explain paradoxes we hypothesized that progressive neurodegeneration in the cerebellum can be associated with activation of adult neurogenesis in the diseased cerebellum and/or activation and proliferation of microglia - the phagocyte system of the brain. Neurodegeneration pathways in the AT brain are likely to be applicable to disorders exhibiting neurogeneration in specific brain areas.


Supported by BMBF/DLR (BLR 11/002), the Russian Federation President Grant (MD-4401.2013.7), RFBR 12-04-00215-a.


  1. lourov IY, Vorsanova SG, Liehr T, Yurov YB: Aneuploidy in the normal, Alzheimer’s disease and ataxia-telangiectasia brain: differential expression and pathological meaning.

    Neurobiol Dis 2009, 34:212-220. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  2. lourov IY, Vorsanova SG, Liehr T, Kolotii AD, Yurov YB: Increased chromosome instability dramatically disrupts neural genome integrity and mediates cerebellar degeneration in the ataxia-telangiectasia brain.

    Hum Mol Genet 2009, 18:2656-2669. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  3. Yurov YB, Vorsanova SG, Tagirova MK, lourov IY: Genetic paradoxes of neurodegeneration in ataxia telangiectasia (Louis-Bar syndrome).

    Fundamental research 2013, 1(part 2):315-326. OpenURL

  4. lourov IY, Vorsanova SG, Kurinnaia OS, Zelenova MA, Silvanovich AP, Yurov YB: Molecular karyotyping by array CGH in a Russian cohort of children with intellectual disability, autism, epilepsy and congenital anomalies.

    Mol Cytogenet 2012, 5:46. PubMed Abstract | BioMed Central Full Text | PubMed Central Full Text OpenURL