Navigation Links
Scripps Florida scientists offer new insight into neuron changes brought about by aging

JUPITER, FL, January 22, 2013 How aging affects communication between neurons is not well understood, a gap that makes it more difficult to treat a range of disorders, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

A new study from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) offers insights into how aging affects the brain's neural circuitry, in some cases significantly altering gene expression in single neurons. These discoveries could point the way toward a better understanding of how aging affects our cognitive ability and new therapeutic targets for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease.

"Although we don't know exactly why, we do know there is a signaling imbalance as we age, and we've captured these changes at the single neuron level," said Sathyanarayanan V. Puthanveettil, a TSRI assistant professor who led the work. "If we could identify the underpinnings of this mechanism, we may be able to target the specific mechanism to affect or reverse the aging process in human neurons."

To record the electrical and physiological properties of single neurons, the scientists created a new method and applied it to the marine snail Aplysia californica, a widely used animal model. Many Aplysia gene expression signatures have counterparts in the human genome.

Using this methodology, which was published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments, the scientists were then able to focus on neuron R15, a burst firing neuron that is implicated in the regulation of water content and reproduction, showing how its response to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and gene expression changed with age.

In a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, the team described specific changes in burst firing and action potentialswhich play a central role in cell-to-cell communicationduring the aging of R15, suggesting that changes in the response to acetylcholine during aging has been conserved during evolution in organisms from snails to mammals.

In another study, published in published in BMC Genomics, the team revealed unexpected information about gene expression during R15 aging.

"Aging brings bidirectional changes in the gene expression," said Puthanveettil. "Some gene expression goes up; some goes down. This was surprising, particularly that some gene expression went upsomething you don't necessarily associate with aging."

The study also noted that more than 1,000 DNA sequences are regulated differently in mature versus old R15 neurons. Among the specific biological pathways that are altered are networks involved in: cell signaling and skeletal muscular system development; cell death and survival; cellular function maintenance and embryonic development; and neurological diseases and developmental and hereditary disorders.

To confirm these findings, Puthanveettil and his colleagues also isolated and examined three other Aplysia neurons. Interestingly, while all the neurons showed changes in gene expression with age, these changes weren't necessarily similar among the neurons. Also the magnitude of change was specific to individual neurons.

The scientists are now investigating how and why aging affects neurons differently.


Contact: Eric Sauter
Scripps Research Institute

Related biology news :

1. Scripps leads first global snapshot of key coral reef fishes
2. Scripps Research Institute scientists achieve most detailed picture ever of key part of hepatitis C
3. Scripps oceanography researchers engineer breakthrough for biofuel production
4. NIH awards Scripps Translational Science Institute $29 million grant
5. James Cameron to be publicly honored with Scripps Nierenberg Prize
6. Scripps Research announces research & license agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals
7. John Moores gives $2 million to Scripps Research to develop river blindness field test
8. Scripps Research and Takeda Pharmaceuticals announce expanded research collaboration
9. Vibrant mix of marine life found at extreme ocean depths, Scripps analysis reveals
10. Scripps Florida scientist awarded prestigious Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award
11. Scripps Research Institute study shows how brain cells shape temperature preferences
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Scripps Florida scientists offer new insight into neuron changes brought about by aging
(Date:10/29/2015)...  Connected health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar , ... health and wellness, and the business opportunities that arise ... Internet of Healthy Things . Long before health ... Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, was ... care from the hospital or doctor,s office into the ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... -- Munich, Germany , October ... automatically maps data from mobile eye tracking videos created ... that they can be quantitatively analyzed with SMI,s analysis ... , October 28-29, 2015. SMI,s Automated Semantic Gaze ... tracking videos created with SMI,s Eye Tracking Glasses ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... NEWARK, Calif. , Oct. 26, 2015  Delta ... convenient biometric authentication to mobile and PC devices, announced ... Fujitsu,s smartphone, the arrows NX F-02H launched by NTT ... arrows NX F-02H is the second smartphone to include ... this technology in ARROWS NX F-04G in May 2015, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... new market research report "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market by Product ... (PCR, Gene Synthesis, Diagnostic, DNA, RNAi), End-User (Research, Pharmaceutical ... published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to reach ... in 2015, at a CAGR of 10.1% during the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), led by its ... as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing community. , FPV ... embraced this type of racing and several new model aviation pilots have joined the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... --> --> ... by Transparency Market Research, the global non-invasive prenatal testing ... 17.5% during the period between 2014 and 2022. The ... Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2014 ... to reach a valuation of US$2.38 bn by 2022. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - ... "Company") announced today that the remaining 11,000 post-share ... Share Purchase Warrants (the "Series B Warrants") subject ... were exercised on November 23, 2015, which will ... Shares.  After giving effect to the issuance of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: