Navigation Links
New research questions basic tenet of neuron function

New findings by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center challenge one of the established views of how nerve cells communicate with one another.

Every time we move, feel emotions, think or remember, the nerve cells, or neurons, in our body transmit messages to one another via chemical signals called neurotransmitters. Within neurons are tiny organelles called synaptic vesicles that sequester neurotransmitters and release them when needed into the synapse, or space between nerve cells, where the chemical signal is transmitted to other neurons.

It is known that synaptic vesicles release their neurotransmitters in two different "modes" ?one when the neuron is stimulated and actively relaying a message, and the other through spontaneous release when the neuron is "at rest," or inactive. Until now it was believed that the same synaptic vesicles were responsible for releasing neurotransmitters in both modes.

However, new research by UT Southwestern scientists appearing in the Feb. 17 issue of the journal Neuron suggests that two distinct types of synaptic vesicles are responsible for the two different modes of neurotransmitter release ?one type of vesicle for spontaneous release, another vesicle associated with activity-dependent release.

"These findings question one of the core tenets of synaptic function and reveal significant complexity in organization of synaptic vesicles within individual synapses," said Dr. Ege Kavalali, assistant professor in the Center for Basic Neuroscience and of physiology at UT Southwestern and senior author on the study.

Neurotransmitters regulate many different aspects of mood, cognition and behavior, such as emotional state, reactions to stress, pain, and the physical drives of sleep, appetite and sexuality.

A better understanding of such fundamental mechanisms of neurotransmitter release will aid researchers in their investigations of psychiatric disorders and neurological disorder s such as mental retardation, autism, depression and epilepsy, all of which have been linked to abnormal neurotransmitter function, said Dr. Kavalali.

In neuronal cell cultures, the researchers labeled synaptic vesicles with a fluorescent dye and observed how and when the vesicles released neurotransmitters, both when the neurons were at rest and when they were active. From these observations, as well as data gathered from electrophysiological techniques, the researchers found two distinct types of vesicles.

"The functional differences of these two sets of vesicles may be the result of differences in the protein and/or lipid composition of the vesicles," Dr. Kavalali said. "Higher-resolution analysis is needed to test whether the two sets of vesicles are indeed distinct."

Dr. Kavalali said that if the two types of vesicles have different molecular compositions, as their findings suggest, those differences may make it possible to independently regulate spontaneous and activity-dependent neurotransmitter release. Spontaneous release is thought to play a role in the development of the neural circuitry in the brain and body, while activity-dependent release is responsible for functions such as learning and memory.


'"/>

Source:UT Southwestern


Related biology news :

1. Columbia research lifts major hurdle to gene therapy for cancer
2. U of M researcher examines newly emerging deadly disease
3. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
4. First atlas of key brain genes could speed research on cancer, neurological diseases
5. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
6. ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrots vibrant red colors
7. UCSD researchers maintain stem cells without contaminated animal feeder layers
8. Why do insects stop breathing? To avoid damage from too much oxygen, say researchers
9. New protein discovered by Hebrew University researchers
10. First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers
11. New research indicates a troubled greenhouse is brewing
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/14/2016)... 2016 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the ... announces the airing of a new series of commercials on ... March 21 st .  The commercials will air on Bloomberg ... on the Street show. --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... commerce market, announces the airing of a new series of ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... 11, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ) - --> ... is available at AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - ... used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be ... CeBIT in Hanover next week.   --> ... be used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... 2016 --> ... "Identity and Access Management Market by Component (Provisioning, Directory ... by Organization Size, by Deployment, by Vertical, and by ... The market is estimated to grow from USD 7.20 ... at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.2% ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Thailand’s Board of Investment’s New ... San Francisco. Located at booth number 7301, representatives from the Thai Government, research ... the Thai biotechnology and life sciences sector. , Deputy Secretary General of ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... at the University of Athens say they have evidence that the variety of different ... lead to one good one. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the ... 98 mesothelioma patients who got a second kind of drug therapy after ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Mass. (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... heart attacks, diabetes, and traumatic injuries, will be accelerated by research at Worcester ... cells into engines of wound healing and tissue regeneration. , The novel method, ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... The need for blood donations in South Texas and across the nation ... Blood & Tissue Center, blood donations are on the decline. In fact, donations across the ... 21 percent in South Texas in the last four years alone. , There is no ...
Breaking Biology Technology: