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:11/25/2015)... ... ... For the first time, Vitalalert is donating half of its earnings to ... between the two groups began in 2014 with Vitalalert pledging a portion of every ... founded in 1954 and is an international Christian-based health organization whose mission is to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... According to ... surgical robot is being more and more widely heralded as a breakthrough for performing ... Vinci method has over traditional laparoscopic surgery is that it can greatly reduce the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... people across the country to celebrate their sobriety and show through pictures what ... “before and after” photos this Thanksgiving with the hashtag #FacesOfGratitude on their Facebook, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who would like to become more ... to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) CE course. Courses will be ... As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. Iacobelli and Dr. D’Orazio are ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 25, 2015, officials of ... network, announced the release of a new cutting edge recovery program that has been ... working with drug- and alcohol-addicted individuals with the purpose to free addicts from the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... AVIV, Israel , November 25, 2015 ... (NASDAQ: KTOV ) (TASE: KTOV), a biopharmaceutical company ... simultaneous treatment of various clinical conditions, today announced the ... 3,158,900 American Depository Shares ( ADSs ), each representing ... purchase up to 3,158,900 ADSs. The ADSs and warrants ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  Today AVACEN Medical announced the issue of United States ... Viscosity Adjustment ". This patent shields the company,s AVACEN 100 dry heat therapy medical device and ... Photo - ... ... ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... COLUMBUS, Ohio , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... who handle hazardous drug preparations (e.g. pharmacists, pharmacy ... veterinarians, and veterinary technicians). The chapter also covers ... hazardous drugs (e.g., pharmacies, hospitals, other healthcare institutions, ... offices). --> --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: