Navigation Links
Rising star of brain found to regulate circadian rhythms
Date:4/14/2011

BOSTON (April 14, 2011, noon ET) The circadian system that controls normal sleep patterns is regulated by a group of glial brain cells called astrocytes, according to a study published online on April 14th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication. Neuroscientists from Tufts University School of Medicine found that disruption of astrocyte function in fruit flies (Drosophila) led to altered daily rhythms, an indication that these star-shaped glial cells contribute to the control of circadian behavior. These results provide, for the first time, a tractable genetic model to study the role of astrocytes in circadian rhythms and sleep disorders.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, more than 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders. Some sleep disorders arise from changes to the internal clock that is modulated by environmental signals, including light. Biologically, the internal clock is known to be composed of a network of neurons that controls rhythmic behaviors. Rob Jackson and his team previously had found that normal circadian rhythms require a glial-specific protein. In the new study, the team demonstrates that glia, and particularly astrocytes, are active cellular elements of the neural circuit that controls circadian rhythms in the adult brain.

"This is significant because glia have been traditionally viewed as support cells rather than independent elements that can regulate neurons and behavior. Neurons have had center stage for some time but current research is establishing the role of glial cells in brain function," said Rob Jackson, PhD, professor of neuroscience at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) and member of the genetics and neuroscience program faculties at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts. Jackson is also the director of the Center for Neuroscience Research (CNR) at TUSM.

"We used cellular and molecular genetic techniques to manipulate glial cells in the adult brain of fruit flies and found that such cells regulate neurons of the circadian network and behavior" said first author Fanny Ng, PhD, a postdoctoral associate in the Jackson lab. Ng added, "this is the first study to show that glia can modulate the release of a neuronal factor that is essential for normal circadian behavior."

Jackson's team observed altered rhythms in locomotor activity with glial manipulations, an indication the circadian clock had been disrupted, which in humans can contribute to jet lag or serious sleep disorders.

"In order to develop treatments for these disorders, we need to understand their cellular and molecular bases. Our work suggests that Drosophila can serve as a model system for genetic and molecular approaches to understand astrocyte function and astrocyte-neuron interactions. This undoubtedly will contribute to a better understanding of sleep and other neurological disorders that result from circadian dysfunction," said Jackson.


'/>"/>

Contact: Siobhan Gallagher
617-636-6586
Tufts University, Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Beware the Gentle Man With Unique Knowledge: The Passion and Skill of a Rising Star
2. Rising Use of Medical Technologies Extending Americans Lives
3. Elizabeth Colston, MD, PhD, of CONNEXION Healthcare, Honored as Rising Star by Healthcare Businesswomens Association
4. CareTech Solutions Honors Five Hospitals with Rising Star Awards
5. Asthma Rates Rising Across the U.S.
6. Youth baseball throwing arm injuries are rising dramatically
7. Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers in the Millions and Rising
8. Cosmetic Surgery Error in New York Strikes Medical Malpractice Lawyers as Unsurprising
9. Choose Responsibility Says New Study on Rising Alcohol Use Among Students Illustrates Need for Fresh Solutions
10. The Worst Is Over, but the Road to Growth Is Uncertain - The 17th Annual CFO Rising Conference & Exhibition
11. Poll Finds Americans Blame Insurers, Drug Companies for Rising Health Costs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2017)... , ... January 20, 2017 , ... Source Vitál Apothecary, ... 100 percent pure essential oils, announced the company had a successful visit to the ... annual ECRM event gives companies that work in the nutritional, sports and health industries ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... Lice Troopers, the lice removal company ... with school-aged children since the holiday season. , “It happens every year around ... sharing hugs and taking photos, which is the head-to-head gateway that lice need to ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... , ... Michael and Betsy Brauser celebrated 5 years of Betsy’s participation in ... has been life-saving as she has been on the trial for more than ... with ovarian cancer in 2009. She underwent standard chemotherapy but a year later went ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... “Mary Magdalene: Grace is Greater ... of the woman who witnessed Jesus Christ firsthand. “Mary Magdalene: Grace is Greater than ... her career as an educator interacting with countless women who had little knowledge of ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... ... a fine examination of how God handles sin, including how to let go of ... who, for over ten long years has been waiting to release this powerful insight about ... has been serving the Lord for over twenty years, and he has been preaching and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... 20, 2017 Research and Markets has ... Type ([CBC, HGB/HCT, BMP, BUN Creatinine, Electrolyte Testing, HbA1c Testing, Comprehensive ... Segment Forecasts, 2013 - 2024" report to their offering. ... The global clinical ... 2024 Introduction of innovative solutions on the grounds of ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... , January 20, 2017 Stock-Callers.com ... (NASDAQ: SGYP ), Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE: ... ), and Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PTX ... on Thursday, January 19 th , 2017, finishing near its ... Care Index dropped over 0.7%, while shares of health care ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... 2017 Wells Specialty Pharmacy announces the acquisitions and ... in Winter Park, Florida and Pharm-EZ ... Operations have been consolidated into the 3796 Howell Branch Road ... announce that Chad Tomlinson , former Vice President of ... immediately. Mr. Tomlinson is a Graduate of Florida State University ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: