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The zebrafish revealed a central regulator for the development of the brain histamine system
Date:2/5/2013

p>The researchers found that larval fish lacking Presenilin-1 protein had significantly fewer histamine neurons; in adulthood the histamine neuron number was significantly increased in these fish when compared with normal fish.

"These results reveal that the psen1 gene is a central regulator of the development of the histamine neurons and that the mutation can cause a persistent lifelong change in the neuronal histamine system. This is a very interesting finding", Panula states.

One interesting remaining question is from where the new histamine neurons arise in the brains of adult zebrafish. Are they newly differentiated stem cells or do other cells become histamine neurons? The answer is not known, but based on these results it is advisable to elucidate the role of Presenilin-1 protein in differentiation of stem cells also in the brains of mammals. "Mammals have stem cells in the hypothalamus, in the same area where the histamine neurons are located in all studied vertebrates", Panula comments.

Panula empathizes that the published study does not tell about an Alzheimer's disease mechanism in humans. The new knowledge on the function of psen1 gene and the development of the brain histamine system provided by the study is one step forward to understanding the etiology of the disease.

"We perform basic research on molecular level, from where it is a long way to treatment of human diseases. This type of research provides the findings on which the treatments are finally based", Panula says.


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Contact: Pertti Panula
pertti.panula@helsinki.fi
358-405-922-323
University of Helsinki
Source:Eurekalert

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