Navigation Links
What can change in the brain? Electrical synapses, research shows

The brain's ability to reorganize itself - strengthening or weakening connections between neurons or adding or subtracting those connections - allows it to form memories, make transitions between sleep and waking, and focus attention on objects of interest.

This phenomenon is a form of neural plasticity. Chemical synapses, junctions where neurons communicate using chemical substances, have long been implicated in plasticity. Now, for the first time, Brown University scientists have demonstrated that electrical synapses are also subject to long-term changes in the brains of mammals. Their work appears in the journal Science.

"The fact that you can change the function of electrical synapses, and change them for longer than a few seconds, means that they may play a role in certain kinds of plasticity," said Barry Connors, a Brown professor of neuroscience and co-author of the paper.

"But plasticity governs many critical brain functions. Since electrical synapses help synchronize the activity of brain cells, these junctions probably help regulate specific brain rhythms that occur while you are awake or sleeping. So this work helps us better understand, in a basic sense, how the brain regulates behavioral states."

Carole Landisman, currently a neurobiology researcher at Harvard Medical School, is the lead author of the paper. Landisman was an investigator in Connors' lab at Brown, where the experiments were conducted.

To better understand how electrical synapses function, Landisman and Connors recorded activity from rat neurons that were connected by electrical synapses and stimulated other brain cells using brief bursts of electricity to see how the neurons would respond. They also treated neurons with two different drugs. All three techniques either activated or blocked metabotropic glutamate receptors or mGluRs, a type of neural trigger that responds to the amino acid glutamate, a trans-mitter molecule in the brain. The result: a
'"/>

Source:Brown University


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Elusive HIV shape change revealed; Key clue to how virus infects cells
2. Researchers trace evolution to relatively simple genetic changes
3. Plants defy Mendels inheritance laws, may prompt textbook changes
4. Small species back-up giant marsupial climate change extinction claim
5. Africa to take it on chin again with climate change
6. Fox Chase study shows that weakened T-cell receptor signals change T-cell lineage
7. By creating molecular bridge, scientists change function of a protein
8. Logging changed ecological balance for monkeys, damaged health
9. York scientists warn of dramatic impact of climate change on Africa
10. Lands surface change on Alaska tundra creating longer, warmer summers in Arctic
11. New markers of climate change
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: What can change the brain Electrical synapses research shows

(Date:7/29/2014)... sperm, bacteria and algae, propel themselves using whip-like ... of a millimetre long, function like tiny oars, ... called cilia are found on the surfaces of ... moving liquids over the cell. , Flagella ... and expel pathogens from our airways, they establish ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... communities showing signs of damage from the Deepwater Horizon oil ... the Gulf of Mexico. The discovery was made by a ... State University. A paper describing this work and additional impacts ... will be published during the last week of July 2014 ... of the National Academy of Sciences . , "The footprint ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... the United States have a circulatory problem of the ... and may even require surgery in serious cases. This ... in turn, limb amputation. , At The University of ... scientists tested a non-surgical preventative treatment in a mouse ... increased blood circulation. Their proof-of-concept study appears in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Microscopic rowing -- without a cox 2Microscopic rowing -- without a cox 3Impact of Deepwater Horizon oil spill on coral is deeper and broader than predicted 2Scientists discover genetic switch that can prevent peripheral vascular disease in mice 2
... On the tenth anniversary of the completion of the first draft ... years to complete the Wellcome Trust today launches a project ... years. This will be one of the largest genome sequencing programmes ... one in 6,000 people in the UK. The UK10K project ...
... This release is available in German . ... Houbara bustards - a North African bird species with ... visual stimulation from attractive males of the same species ... that observed highly displaying male birds in the experiment ...
... Technology (NIST) scientists have moved a step closer to developing ... scan for thousands of disease markers and other chemical indicators ... decode the electrical signals generated by a nanoporea "gate" less ... Nanopores are not new themselves; for more than a decade, ...
Cached Biology News:Ten years on, Wellcome Trust launches study of 10,000 human genomes in UK 2Ten years on, Wellcome Trust launches study of 10,000 human genomes in UK 3Pleasing to the eye 2Pleasing to the eye 3NIST team advances in translating language of nanopores 2
(Date:7/30/2014)... 2014  RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: ... on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative therapies ... technologies, today announced that their third Phase ... reduction of recurrence of hypertrophic scars following ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130917/NE80755LOGO ...
(Date:7/30/2014)... 2014 Vala Sciences was recently ... Protection Agency (EPA). This new contract was awarded ... including tests designed to assess the effect of ... of connections between neurons (synapses), which are critical ... formation by environmental pollutants likely contributes to a ...
(Date:7/30/2014)... LayerBio, Inc., an MIT spinoff developing novel ... of seed financing from friends and family investors. Proceeds ... a novel sustained-release product for ophthalmology. , "We are ... commitment to this important work," said Dr. Ken Mandell, ... many areas in which innovations in drug delivery have ...
(Date:7/29/2014)... have hurdled a number of significant technological challenges ... observing technology originally created for the James Webb ... Investigator Harvey Moseley, a scientist at NASA,s Goddard ... that electrostatically actuated microshutter arrays that is, ... are as functional as the current technology,s magnetically ...
Breaking Biology Technology:RXi Pharmaceuticals Expands Clinical Program with Initiation of Third Phase 2a Study with RXI-109 for Treatment of Hypertrophic Scars 2RXi Pharmaceuticals Expands Clinical Program with Initiation of Third Phase 2a Study with RXI-109 for Treatment of Hypertrophic Scars 3RXi Pharmaceuticals Expands Clinical Program with Initiation of Third Phase 2a Study with RXI-109 for Treatment of Hypertrophic Scars 4RXi Pharmaceuticals Expands Clinical Program with Initiation of Third Phase 2a Study with RXI-109 for Treatment of Hypertrophic Scars 5U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Awards Vala Sciences a Second ToxCast Contract 2U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Awards Vala Sciences a Second ToxCast Contract 3Revolutionary microshutter technology hurdles significant challenges 2Revolutionary microshutter technology hurdles significant challenges 3Revolutionary microshutter technology hurdles significant challenges 4
... Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed a bill that would have banned ... legislative director of Wisconsins Right to Life movement made a ... , ,We're not talking about stem cells anymore; we're talking ... cells but for organs and body parts, Right to Lifes ...
... proliferates the American landscape, Google is achieving ... not go by that Google's brand and services don't touch ... media, and business owner. , ,The seven-year-old company, which ... public just 15 months ago at $85 and closed at ...
... - Last week Gov. Jim Doyle announced a new ... to further the adoption of electronic medical records in Wisconsin. ... power of information technology at the most important point in ... a statement, citing statistics showing 30 percent of healthcare costs ...
Cached Biology Technology:Separating science fiction from reality in the human cloning debate 2Separating science fiction from reality in the human cloning debate 3Are you a citizen of the "Google Nation?" 2Are you a citizen of the "Google Nation?" 3Wisconsin pushes for adoption of electronic health records 2
UBC13 Antibody...
HLA II DG+DR+DP Monoclonal Antibody, Purified, Unconjugated, Clone: IQU9 This antibody is specific for the monomorphic determinant of the HLA Class II beta chains of the human MHC (28 kDa)....
Phenytoin-BSA Isolated IgY DFc Drug...
Tropomyosin 4 [Tm4]...
Biology Products: