Menu

Researchers Refute Proposed Neuron Migration Pathway

A team of scientists was unable to replicate controversial, high-profile findings published in 2011.

Jan 11, 2017
Jef Akst

FLICKR, NICHDIn April 2011, Amparo Acker-Palmer  of Goethe University in Frankfurt and colleagues published a study in Nature that identified key features of the Reelin signaling pathway, which is linked to epilepsy, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Immediate concerns were raised, and Nature published a corrigendum in September. But the notice failed to fully address their concerns, so Joachim Herz and colleagues at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center decided to repeat the experiment themselves. Last November, they and a few colleagues published (also in Nature) their failed attempt to do so.

“Our recent report in Nature now highlights these inconsistencies,” Herz told Retraction Watch. “Please note, however, that several of the major inconsistencies were noted independently by numerous colleagues throughout the world, giving rise to a lively online discussion.”

In the September 2011 correction notice, the authors stated that mistakes with the images and labels did not affect the study’s conclusions—that ephrin B proteins bind to Reelin in the mammalian brain to regulate neuronal migration—and even claimed to have repeated the experiment in an additional cohort of animals with “exactly the same results.” But Herz and colleagues were unable to reproduce the findings in a series of knockout mouse experiments. They outline their wrok in a Brief Communication Arising published in Nature last November. In the same issue, Acker-Palmer and colleagues argue that Herz’s team used different methods and poor analyses.

Herz told Retraction Watch: “[T]he extent and the degree of the discrepancies not only over a single data point, but over multiple different genotypes, anatomy and biochemistry is too great to be dismissed with this kind of handwaving. . . . If the dependence of the Reelin pathway on Eph/Ephrin signaling during migration were as absolute as [Acker-Palmer’s team] reported, we should have seen at least partial penetrance of their phenotype in our models.”

September 2018

The Muscle Issue

The dynamic tissue reveals its secrets

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

StemExpress LeukopakâNow Available in Frozen Format

StemExpress LeukopakâNow Available in Frozen Format

StemExpress, a Folsom, California based leading supplier of human biospecimens, announces the release of frozen Peripheral Blood Leukopaks. Leukopaks provide an enriched source of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with low granulocyte and red blood cells that can be used in a variety of downstream cell-based applications.

New Antifade Mounting Media from Vector Laboratories Enhances Immunofluorescence Applications

New Antifade Mounting Media from Vector Laboratories Enhances Immunofluorescence Applications

Vector Laboratories, a leader in the development and manufacture of labeling and detection reagents for biomedical research, introduces VECTASHIELD® Vibrance™ – antifade mounting media that delivers significant improvements to the immunofluorescence workflow.

Best Practices for Sample Preparation and Lipid Extraction from Various Samples

Best Practices for Sample Preparation and Lipid Extraction from Various Samples

Download this white paper from Bertin Technologies to learn how to extract and analyze lipid samples from various models!

Bio-Rad Launches CHT Ceramic Hydroxyapatite XT Media and Nuvia HP-Q Resin for Process Protein Purification

Bio-Rad Launches CHT Ceramic Hydroxyapatite XT Media and Nuvia HP-Q Resin for Process Protein Purification

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global leader of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced the launch of two new chromatography media for process protein purification: CHT Ceramic Hydroxyapatite XT Media and Nuvia HP-Q Resin.