05 December 2012
Vol 4, Issue 163

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ONLINE COVER Blood-Brain Connection. Immune regulatory T cells (in blue) are brought to the fore in an inborn brain disorder. Expression of a key epigenetic regulatory protein—methy-CpG–binding protein 2 (MeCP2)—at precise concentrations promotes proper brain development and synaptic wiring. But mutations that affect the expression of this protein give rise to X-linked developmental diseases. For example, when MeCP2 is overexpressed because of duplication of a small interval on the X chromosome, progressive central nervous system dysfunction occurs. But that’s not all—patients also suffer increased infections. In this issue, Yang et al. describe a fascinating primary immune defect that might explain the frequent infections that accompany the neurological deficits. Further, alterations in inflammation might contribute to progressive deterioration in neurological function. See also the accompanying Focus by Boothby and Williams. [CREDIT: Y. HAMMOND AND C. BICKEL/SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE]