Lotje De Witte

Lotje De Witte, MD, PhD

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Basic Research: $149,996

Investigation of microglia, an immune cell, in Rett syndrome

In addition to playing a role in inflammation, microglia (the brain’s immune cells), contribute to brain development. In mouse models, when these cells don’t have enough of the MeCP2 protein (which is the case in Rett syndrome), they don’t function properly and negatively impact the activity of other types of brain cells. To determine if this is the case with human microglia, Dr. De Witte’s lab is studying microglia developed from cells obtained from healthy patients and those with Rett syndrome. This investigation will explore how these microglia function by themselves as well as in conjunction with other types of brain cells. If the microglia of Rett syndrome patients are indeed dysfunctional, restoring the function of these cells could provide a novel treatment approach for Rett syndrome.