Several copy number variants have been associated with neuropsychiatric disorders and these variants have been shown to also influence cognitive abilities in carriers unaffected by psychiatric disorders. Previously, we associated the 15q11.2(BP1-BP2) deletion with specific learning disabilities and a larger corpus callosum. Here we investigate, in a much larger sample, the effect of the 15q11.2(BP1-BP2) deletion on cognitive, structural and functional correlates of dyslexia and dyscalculia. We report that the deletion confers greatest risk of the combined phenotype of dyslexia and dyscalculia. We also show that the deletion associates with a smaller left fusiform gyrus. Moreover, tailored functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments using phonological lexical decision and multiplication verification tasks demonstrate altered activation in the left fusiform and the left angular gyri in carriers. Thus, by using convergent evidence from neuropsychological testing, and structural and functional neuroimaging, we show that the 15q11.2(BP1-BP2) deletion affects cognitive, structural and functional correlates of both dyslexia and dyscalculia.
Insect bite hypersensitivity is an immunoglobulin (Ig)E-mediated dermatitis of horses initiated by bites of midges of the genus Culicoides. Culicoides spp. are not indigenous to Iceland and the prevalence of insect bite hypersensitivity is much higher in horses born in Iceland and exported as compared to Icelandic horses born in a Culicoides rich environment. Immunotherapy is therefore needed.
The aim of the study was to express an allergen from Culicoides in barley grain and investigate whether an immune response could be obtained in healthy Icelandic horses by oral treatment with transgenic barley expressing the allergen.
In vivo experiment.
The allergen was expressed in barley grain with the Orfeus technique. A device was developed to treat horses orally with barley flour. Four Icelandic horses were treated with transgenic barley and 3 with control barley, in total 500 g in 7 feedings. Serum and saliva samples were collected for measuring specific antibodies.
The allergen Cul n 2, a hyaluronidase originating from the salivary gland of Culicoides nubeculosus, was expressed in barley. Horses treated with the transgenic barley mounted a Cul n 2 specific IgG1 and IgG4/7 response in serum and saliva. The serum response was significantly different between the transgenic and control barley treated horses for both subclasses and the saliva response for IgG1. The induced serum antibodies bound to the corresponding allergen from Culicoides obsoletus, rCul o 2 and were able to partially block binding of Cul n 2 as well as Cul o 2 specific IgE from insect bite hypersensitivity affected horses.
Small number of horses.
This study shows that specific antibody response can be induced in horses not exposed to Culicoides, using oral treatment with transgenic barley expressing an allergen. Further studies will determine whether this approach is a useful alternative for prevention and treatment of equine insect bite hypersensitivity.