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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2012, Article ID 171639, 14 pages
Review Article

Molecular and Cellular Alterations in Down Syndrome: Toward the Identification of Targets for Therapeutics

Unité de Biologie Fonctionnelle et Adaptative (BFA), Sorbonne Paris Cité, Universite Paris Diderot, EAC4413 CNRS, 75205 Paris Cedex 13, France

Received 3 February 2012; Revised 18 April 2012; Accepted 19 April 2012

Academic Editor: Hansen Wang

Copyright © 2012 Nicole Créau. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Down syndrome is a complex disease that has challenged molecular and cellular research for more than 50 years. Understanding the molecular bases of morphological, cellular, and functional alterations resulting from the presence of an additional complete chromosome 21 would aid in targeting specific genes and pathways for rescuing some phenotypes. Recently, progress has been made by characterization of brain alterations in mouse models of Down syndrome. This review will highlight the main molecular and cellular findings recently described for these models, particularly with respect to their relationship to Down syndrome phenotypes.