Navigation Links
Ceramide Directs Stem Cells in Embryo

Ceramide, a little-known lipid plays a crucial role in shaping a hollow sphere of stem cells into human beings, researchers have found. It seems to help in organizing// tissues by directing stem cells to their respective positions.

They found that in the first few days of life, ceramide helps stem cells line up to form the primitive ectoderm from which embryonic tissues develop, says Dr. Erhard Bieberich, biochemist at the Medical College of Georgia.

Probably 90 percent of ceramide gathers at the top or apical end of these early stem cells, literally helping cells have direction. 'We have cell polarity, an up and down, a head and foot of the cell, and that is what ceramide most likely regulates,' says Dr. Bieberich. 'Cell polarity is absolutely essential for differentiation; otherwise you have a ball of cells, not organized tissue.'

In fact, we start out as a wad of cells, but within 24 hours, some cells die and others become part of the hollow sphere with an inner layer – the primitive ectoderm – that will further differentiate into an embryo, and an outer layer – the primitive endoderm – that sustains the embryo during development.

'Ceramide distributes to the apical end of the cell,' says Kannan Krishnamurthy, MCG graduate student and first author of the study published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. 'In this case, the basal end, or lower end, is attached to the outer layer while the apical end points toward the sphere’s cavity.'

Cells make ceramide, which researchers are finding has many different jobs in the developing and mature body. Like other lipids, it helps make up membranes throughout the body, it has an insulation role in the skin and it is a precursor for the protective coating of nerves, called myelin.

'There is more and more evidence that ceramide not only is a structural lipid but a messenger involved in signal transduction, in telling proteins what to do,' says Dr. Guanghu Wang, MCG research assistant scientist who shares first authorship.

In 2003, Dr. Bieberich and his colleagues reported ceramide teams up with the protein PAR-4 to eliminate useless cells in developing brains.

Now his team reports that ceramide plays a key role in establishing cell polarity by attracting proteins involved in polarity to the top of the cells then triggering a series of interactions between them.

When researchers inhibited ceramide production, polarity proteins didn’t gather at the top of cells, cells died and primitive ectoderm formation was impaired; all processes worked like a charm when ceramide was restored.

They plan to study what unknown roles ceramide may play in mature cells and if it plays a role in some cells losing their direction and becoming cancerous.

'There are conditions where a lot of cells die by what we call apoptosis and, in these cases, it could be that ceramide is elevated and that causes good cells to die,' says Dr. Bieberich. Ultraviolet radiation, says Mr. Krishnamurthy, is a good example of what may increase ceramide levels.

To study the quantity and location of ceramide, the researchers first developed an antibody that binds to it so it could be seen and counted. Previously, chemical studies have documented its presence but nothing more.

Longstanding collaborator Dr. Brian G. Condie, developmental neurobiologist at the University of Georgia in Athens, and Dr. Jeane Silva, MCG research coordinator, also are study co-authors.

The National Institutes of Health funded the work.


Related medicine news :

1. Ceramide can target and kill cancer cells
2. Rajasthan Directs Doctors to Prescribe Medicines by Generic Names
3. Thailand Directs Pharma Companies to Declare Production Cost of Drugs
4. Blood Cells Capable of Regenerating Liver
5. White Cells Count Can Predict Heart Attack Death Risk
6. Gene Therapy Destroys Pancreatic Cancer Cells
7. Stem Cells Have Few Mutations
8. Heart may pull Cells from Body to Self-repair
9. Cells critical for asthma development found
10. Vitamin D Wipes out Cancer Cells
11. Bone Marrow Cells Help Heart Attack Patients
Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/25/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial ... Plant City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the ... closing for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As ... with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine ... and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits ... terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps ... slow progress toward their goal. , Research from reveals that ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... June ... about the dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, ... individuals who are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global ... Trend magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition ... Florida. , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... June 27, 2016  VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ( ... take whatever measures required to build a strong and ... is currently listed on the OTC Markets-pink current trading ... and CEO, "We are seeing an anomaly in market ... not only by the Company, but shareholders and market ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... OAKLAND, N.J. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... in the design, development and manufacturing of collagen ... and regeneration announced today that Bill Messer ... Sales and Marketing to further leverage the growing ... surgery medical devices. Bill joins the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... has announced the addition of the " Global ... This report ... provides an updated review, including its applications in various ... total market, which includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: