Development

Altered fluid flow causes curved spine

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Science  10 Jun 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6291, pp. 1288-1289
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6291.1288-g

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is characterized by three-dimensional spinal curves and affects 3% of the world's children. However, the biological basis of this condition is unclear. Grimes et al. studied zebrafish models that likewise display a curved spine. Defects in the formation and function of motile cilia in the central nervous system perturbed the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), leading to abnormal spinal curvatures as the fish grew. Curves could be partially rescued by restoring CSF flow, suggesting potential therapeutic strategies if the same mechanism is shared in humans.

Science, this issue p. 1341

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