Detection of vulnerable neurons damaged by environmental insults in utero

Masaaki Torii, Masanori Sasaki, Yu Wen Chang, Seiji Ishii, Stephen G. Waxman, Jeffery D. Kocsis, Pasko Rakic, Kazue Hashimoto-Torii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Development of prognostic biomarkers for the detection of prenatally damaged neurons before manifestations of postnatal disorders is an essential step for prevention and treatment of susceptible individuals. We have developed a versatile fluorescence reporter system in mice enabling detection of Heat Shock Factor 1 activation in response to prenatal cellular damage caused by exposure to various harmful chemical or physical agents. Using an intrautero electroporationmediated reporter assay and transgenic reporter mice, we are able to identify neurons that survive prenatal exposure to harmful agents but remain vulnerable in postnatal life. This system may provide a powerful tool for exploring the pathogenesis and treatment of multiple disorders caused by exposure to environmental stress before symptoms become manifested, exacerbated, and/or irreversible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2367-2372
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 28
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral cortex
  • Development
  • Environmental stress
  • Heat shock signaling
  • Reporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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