Data were “fraudulently obtained” in epilepsy paper, probe finds

brain-research-bulletinA brain research journal has retracted a 2016 study about epilepsy after an institutional investigation determined that some of the data were taken from another published paper.

The retraction notice for the study — which appeared in Brain Research Bulletin — cites an investigation by the scientific integrity committee at Tongji University in Shanghai, China, which concluded the authors had engaged in “unethical publishing behavior.”

Here’s the retraction notice for “Clc-2 knockout attenuated experimental temporal lobe epilepsy in mice by tonic inhibition mediated by GABAA receptors:”

This article has been retracted at the request of the Scientific Integrity Committee of Tongji University.

After investigation of the original data, experimental procedure and the process of paper submission, the Scientific Integrity Committee of Tongji University concluded that Figure 3A–D, showing voltage–clamp current traces claimed to be representative traces of ClC-2 currents’ in CA1 pyramidal neurons, where actually the averaged currents fraudulently obtained from Bergmann glia as published in Figure 6 in M.B. Hoegg-Beiler, S. Sirisi, T.J. Jentsch, et al. Disrupting MLC1 and GlialCAM and ClC-2 interactions in leukodystrophy entails glial chloride channel dysfunction Nat. Commun., 5 (2014), p. 3475,

The Editor-in-Chief and Publisher take their duty of guardianship over the scholarly record extremely seriously. Claiming results from research conducted by others constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.

We’ve contacted Yu-Xing Ge, the study’s first and corresponding author from the Tongji University Affiliated Tenth People’s Hospital. We also called a representative at Tongji University for further information about their investigation, but were limited in our inability to speak Chinese.

We’ll update the post with anything else we learn.

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