Navigation Links
OHSU discovery may someday lead to prevention and treatment of sudden infant death syndrome

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have discovered that brain cells commonly thought to play a supporting role actually are critically important for the growth of brainstem neurons responsible for cardiorespiratory control. The discovery has profound implications for the prevention and treatment of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), the leading cause of death in children aged one month to one year.

The new discovery is published online in Neuroscience:

In their study, the OHSU team looked at glial cells, non-neuronal cells of the brain, and found that they very potently regulate growth of nerve cells in the brainstem. In fact, the glial cells actually inhibit the growth of brainstem neurons and may be as important for establishing neuronal networks as neurotrophic factors, a family of proteins essential for brain growth and survival. The OHSU study is the first to find that glial cells inhibit nerve cell growth.

"Previous research has shown that a common feature of the brains of SIDS babies is a dramatically increased number of glial cells," said Agnieszka Balkowiec, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator and associate professor of integrative biosciences in the OHSU School of Dentistry. "Based on the results of our new study, the increase in glial cells in SIDS babies could be the cause of a compromised growth of brainstem neurons that control the cardiorespiratory function and, ultimately, cause death."

The new study also shows that glial cells direct the growth of brainstem neurons caused by BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), another molecule found by the Balkowiec lab to play an important role in cardiorespiratory control.

"Our study shows that the picture is more complex than we had previously thought," said Balkowiec. "A better understanding of interactions between BDNF and glial cells could play a significant role in the development of treatment for SIDS, high blood pressure, and other disorders with a deficient cardiorespiratory control."


Contact: Sydney Clevenger
Oregon Health & Science University

Related biology news :

1. Notre Dame researchers report fundamental malaria discovery
2. Discovery of plant nourishing gene brings hope for increased crop seed yield and food security
3. Discovery could help stem smoking-related diseases
4. Georgetown researchers lead discovery expected to significantly change biomedical research
5. New horned dinosaur announced nearly 100 years after discovery
6. Researchers awarded $3.2 million from NIH to pioneer advanced biomolecule discovery technology
7. UGA discovery changes how scientists think about plant cell wall formation
8. Discovery of therapeutic peptides affecting mitochondria
9. ORNL fundamental discovery casts enzymes in new light
10. Scripps research team achieves critical step to opening elusive class of compounds to drug discovery
11. Discovery of new gene could improve efficiency of molecular factories
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Infosys ... (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a global ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, fast ...      (Logo: ) , ... but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling and ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 15, 2016  A new partnership announced today ... underwriting decisions in a fraction of the time ... and high-value life insurance policies to consumers without ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and ... (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed ... Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to the ... original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software and ... company. Dr. Bready served as CEO of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... operations for Amgen, will join the faculty of the University of North ... adjunct professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Epic ... sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by ... tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has already ... therapeutics in multiple cancer types. Over ... DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one ... of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has ... add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed a ... serve as their official health care provider. As ... provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and most ... athletes and families. "We are excited ... to bring Houston Methodist quality services and programs ...
Breaking Biology Technology: