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Stopping a receptor called 'nogo' boosts the synapses
Date:3/18/2008

kholm showed that exercise reduces the abundance of the nogo receptor in the brain. Gigers work provides a molecular framework that brings the disparate findings together.

The findings could also explain something that has puzzled scientists, said Giger. Mice with damaged spinal cords that have been treated with compounds designed to knock out the nogo receptor seem to improve a bit, even though scientists have never been able to demonstrate nerve regrowth in those mice. It may be that their improvement instead is coming through the signal-boosting effect in the synapses.

While its tempting to think that knocking down the nogo receptor is a simple process that would help people under all circumstances by boosting their brain power, Giger points out that the molecule is not only found at synapses but also along axons, where scientists believe it plays an important role limiting the sprouting of nerve fibers. Any effort to reduce the nogo receptor will have to be studied thoroughly to watch for other effects.


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Contact: Tom Rickey
tom_rickey@urmc.rochester.edu
585-275-7954
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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