Navigation Links
Scientists shed new light on walking
Date:1/22/2010

Researchers at the medical university Karolinska Institutet have created a genetically modified mouse in which certain neurons can be activated by blue light. Shining blue light on brainstems or spinal cords isolated from these mice produces walking-like motor activity. The findings, which are published in the scientific journal Nature Neuroscience, are of potential significance to the recovery of walking after spinal cord injury.

"This new mouse model will impact the way in which future studies examining the organization of neurons involved in walking are performed. We hope that our findings can provide insight that eventually will contribute to treatments for spinal cord injured patients", says Professor Ole Kiehn, who lead the study.

Excitatory neurons have been suggested to play an important role for the initiation and maintenance of locomotion, or walking. However, this has not been demonstrated directly. In order to test the hypothesis that activation of excitatory neurons is essential to locomotion, a research team at the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, created a genetically modified mouse which expresses a light sensitive protein in excitatory neurons.

The light sensitive protein, Channelrhodopsin2 (ChR2), is normally found in algae and activates the cell it is expressed in when exposed to blue light. ChR2 has previously been introduced into rodent cells by viral infection, but this can be problematic due to exposure and replication demands. The researchers circumvented the problems by creating the first genetically modified mouse to successfully express ChR2 in a specific set of neurons.

By inserting ChR2 into nerve cells expressing Vglut2 a transporter found in most excitatory neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord as well as many excitatory neurons in other regions of the brain they created a Vglut2-ChR2 mouse . The reason for doing this was to be able to selectively activate excitatory neurons in specific regions of the brainstem and spinal cord, as the excitatory neurons are believed to be important for initiating locomotion, or walking.

The researchers then recorded from motor nerves leaving the spinal cord. When blue light was shined directly on the spinal cord, walking-like activity began and was maintained for the duration of the light pulse. This proved that activation of Vglut2-expressing excitatory neurons in the spinal cord is sufficient for walking. Walking-like activity could also be initiated by exposing the lower brainstem to blue light, demonstrating that excitatory cells in the brainstem provide a sufficient 'go' signal to the spinal neurons involved in walking.

All the experiments were made in vitro in the laboratory and not in living animals.


'/>"/>

Contact: Katarina Sternudd
katarina.sternudd@ki.se
46-852-483-895
Karolinska Institutet
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New prion protein discovered by Canadian scientists may offer insight into mad cow disease
2. Scientists Probe Sepsis Deadly Secrets
3. Scientists puzzled by severe allergic reaction to cancer drug in the middle Southern US
4. Scientists Develop Natural Protection for Stored Foods
5. Scientists detect presence of marburg virus in african fruit bats
6. Scientists Spot Brains Free Will Center
7. Scientists ID Likely Culprit in Popcorn Lung
8. Scientists explain how insulin secreting cells maintain their glucose sensitivity
9. Scripps Research scientists shed new light on how antibodies fight HIV
10. Scientists, physicians present latest findings in personalized cancer treatment and prevention
11. Scientists demonstate link between genetic variant and effectiveness of smoking cessation meds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... The law firm of ... N.Y., is pleased to announce Westchester resident Lauren C. Enea has joined the firm ... the firm, will concentrate her practice in elder law, Medicaid planning and applications, and ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Judy Buchanan, ... Master in Frederick, MD. Judy says, “I am passionate about sharing Reiki as ... a very difficult and challenging time.” , A Certified Medical Reiki™ Master trained ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... stories about real people of God in congregations across the United States. ... Presbyterian minister ordained in 1964 who has served congregations in seven states throughout ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... The ... 3rd location in the greater Houston Area. The new location is located at 2255 ... Luke’s Hospital in Springwoods Village. This newest location will provide patients living in the ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , ... March 23, 2017 , ... The IoT (Internet ... WiFi connectivity are making a huge impact on businesses and individual consumers alike. ... the IoT will have a value anywhere from $4 trillion to $11 trillion dollars ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... BOTHELL, Wash. , March 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... developer of advanced medical technology for non-invasive surgery, ... the Mirabilis System for treatment of uterine fibroids ... that it had received approval from the US ... study of the Mirabilis System in the United ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... -- Mosaic Life Care, based in St. Joseph, Missouri , has ... of 58 clinics, located in 22 cities, and its flagship St. Joseph Medical Center. ... the delivery of health care to its patients, including the insurance, billing and collections ... ... Mosaic Life Care St. Joseph Medical Center ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... and INDIANAPOLIS , March 23, 2017 ... ) and the William Sansum Diabetes Center have established ... people affected by diabetes through enhanced research, education and ... and cardiovascular disease bears a disproportionate weight on Latino ... said David Kerr , M.D., FRCPE, director of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: