Navigation Links
Brain cell communication: Why it's so fast
Date:9/21/2010

Billions of brain cells are communicating at any given moment. Like an organic supercomputer they keep everything going, from breathing to solving riddles, and "programming errors" can lead to serious conditions such as schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The brain uses biochemical signal molecules

Nowadays the biochemical language of the nerve cells is the subject of intensive research right down at the molecular level, and for the first time researchers, some from the University of Copenhagen, have described just how nerve cells are capable of transmitting signals practically simultaneously.

The cells of the nervous system communicate using small molecule neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and noradrenalin. Dopamine is associated with cognitive functions such as memory, serotonin with mood control, and noradrenaline with attention and arousal.

The brain cell communication network, the synapses, transmit messages via chemical neurotransmitters packaged in small containers (vesicles) waiting at the nerve ends of the synapses. An electrical signal causes the containers and membrane to fuse and the neurotransmitters flow from the nerve ending to be captured by other nerve cells. This occurs with immense rapidity in a faction of a millisecond.

The vesicle uses three copies of the "linking bridge"

Researchers from the Universities of Copenhagen, Gttingen and Amsterdam have been studying the complex organic protein complexes that link vesicles and membrane prior to fusion, in order to find an explanation for the rapidity of these transmissions. They have discovered that the vesicle contains no fewer than three copies of the linking bridge or "SNARE complex".

With only one SNARE complex the vesicle takes longer to fuse with the membrane and the neurotransmitter is therefore secreted more slowly.

- "The precursors for the SNARE complexes are present in the vesicles before they reach the target membrane", Professor Jakob Balsev Srensen from the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology at the University of Copenhagen. "Fast (synchronous) fusion is enabled when at least three of them work in tandem. If the vesicle only has one SNARE complex it can still fuse with the target membrane, but it takes much longer."

- "Our next step will be to investigate the factors that influence and regulate the number of SNARE complexes in the vesicles. Is this a way for the nerve cells to choose to communicate more or less rapidly, and is this regulation altered when the brain is diseased?", professor Srensen says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jakob Balslev Sorensen
jakobbs@sund.ku.dk
453-089-0096
University of Copenhagen
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Discovery of key pathway interaction may lead to therapies that aid brain growth and repair
2. New pathway identified in Parkinsons through brain imaging
3. OU study on genetics in fruit flies leads to new method for understanding brain function
4. Investigators discover a new hot spot for the genesis of signaling neurons in the adult brain
5. Brain cells determine obesity -- not lack of willpower: Study
6. Cockroach brains could be rich stores of new antibiotics
7. The brain speaks
8. Insect brains are rich stores of new antibiotics
9. Major moral decisions use general-purpose brain circuits to manage uncertainty
10. Research heralds potential for early diagnosis of degenerative brain disorders
11. New study sheds light on painkilling system in brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)...   Parabon NanoLabs (Parabon) announced today ... Office and the Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency ... company,s Snapshot Kinship Inference software for ... defense-related DNA forensics.  Although Snapshot is best known ... ancestry from DNA evidence), it also has the ...
(Date:1/28/2016)... Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer of human interface ... 31, 2015. --> --> ... percent compared to the comparable quarter last year to $470.5 million. ... million, or $0.93 per diluted share. --> ... of fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent over the prior year period ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... 2016 http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ... "Global Biometrics Market in Retail Sector ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) has announced ... Market in Retail Sector 2016-2020" report ... Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) has ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/3/2016)... 3, 2016 Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ... its innovative TransCon technology to address significant unmet medical ... investor conference.Event:2016 Leerink Partners Global Healthcare Conference Location: ... February 10, 2016 Time:  , 11:55am EST ... --> An audio webcast of this event will ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Aerocom, a world-leading supplier of pneumatic tube ... healthcare market. , Aerocom Healthcare, LLC will be based in Denver, Colo., and ... pneumatic tube systems or expand existing systems within the U.S. and Canada. ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... February 03, 2016 , ... Resilinc released ... and analyzes nearly 750 unique supply chain notifications and alerts generated by its ... Supply chain risk management practitioners subscribe to the EventWatch service to receive early ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... February 03, 2016 , ... ZeptoMetrix™ Corporation (ZMC), announced today ... ongoing quality control of molecular assays targeting the Zika Virus. , “Our level ... Chiklis, President and CEO of ZeptoMetrix, relayed to his Executive Team. “We need ...
Breaking Biology Technology: