Navigation Links
Electrical Activity Alters Language Used By Nerve Cells

University of California, San Diego biologists have shown that the chemical language with which neurons communicate depends on the pattern //of electrical activity in the developing nervous system. The findings suggest that modification of nerve activity could have potential as a treatment for a wide range of brain disorders.

In the study, published this week in the early on-line edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the biologists showed that, contrary to the prevailing viewpoint, neurotransmitters—the chemical language of nerve cells—and receptors—the proteins that receive and respond to neurotransmitters—are not specified by a rigid genetic program. Altering nerve activity during development determines the “mother tongue” nerve cells use to communicate.

“Most cognitive disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease, involve problems with neurotransmitters or neurotransmitter receptors,” said Nicholas Spitzer, a professor of biology and the senior author of the study. “If modifying electrical activity in the adult brain can alter neurotransmitters and receptors similarly to the way we have discovered in the developing frog nervous system, it could provide a promising approach to treating these disorders.”

In vertebrates including frogs and humans, nerves communicate with muscles by releasing a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Spitzer and Laura Borodinsky, who was an assistant project scientist working with Spitzer when she performed the research, wanted to know if genetics is the only factor responsible for the selection of acetylcholine as the language used in nerve to muscle communication, or if other factors could play a role.

To find out, the researchers used drugs to increase and decrease the electrical activity in nerve cells of frog embryos. These changes in activity changed the identity of the neurotransmitter produced by the nerve cells. Because th e new chemical language being used by the nerves would not be detected if the muscles continued to produce only acetylcholine receptors, Spitzer and Borodinsky also looked for changes in the muscle cells’ transmitter receptors.

They discovered that, unlike in adult muscle, very early in development the muscle cells actually make multiple types of receptors, not just acetylcholine receptors. Remarkably, neurotransmitter receptors on the muscle cells are selected to match the neurotransmitter being produced by the nerve cells when early activity is perturbed.

“Our discovery, that developing muscle cells express several different types of neurotransmitter receptors, is surprising,” said Borodinsky, who is now an assistant professor of physiology at the U.C. Davis School of Medicine. “The vertebrate neuromuscular junction has been very well studied, and it has long been thought that acetylcholine was the only neurotransmitter used there.

“Sometimes people studying development can be misled by knowing how things work in an adult animal,” she added. “You have so much information about the end point that you may not open your eyes to what happens early on.”

The results show that the development of communication between nerves and muscles is flexible. Rather than a genetic program specifying that acetylcholine will be the language of communication, it is one of several languages that nerve cells are capable of using. Similarly, muscle cells have the potential to understand several languages. During development, the level of electrical activity in nerve cells determines which of many possible neurotransmitter languages will be used.

“It may seem wasteful to start with multiple types of receptors, and then eliminate the ones that aren’t needed,” commented Spitzer. “But it provides organisms with the ability to adapt to the environmental conditions in which they are living.”

The researchers are not certa in if the adult human brain will retain this same flexibility, but experimental treatments involving electrical stimulation of the brain are being used by other researchers in clinical practice. Spitzer thinks this study provides useful information for the researchers developing these therapies.

“Our research provides new insight about a way in which electrical stimulation affects communication in the nervous system,” explained Spitzer. “If electrical stimulation shows promise as a treatment, understanding the mechanism by which it works should make it possible to be much more selective about how and where to stimulate the brain.”Source-Newswise
SRM
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Restricted Activity Predicts Disability
2. Do Asthma Sufferers Lack Physical Activity?
3. Midlife Brain Activity a Predictor Of Alzheimer’s Diseas
4. Asthma Sufferers Lacking Physical Activity
5. Activity Found To Improve Sleep In The Elderly
6. Physical Activity Good For Developing Cognitive Skills
7. The Consequences Of Stopping Physical Activity
8. Physical Activity During Leisure Can Reduce Risk Of Stroke
9. Gene Activity connected to Schizophrenia
10. New Technique To Detect Activity Of Drugs In The Body
11. Women With Anorexia Have Altered Brain Activity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/18/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 18, 2017 , ... ... and financial planning assistance that serves communities throughout southern Florida, is working to ... provide scholarship assets to children from low income families. , The Take Stock ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... ... The Golseth Agency, a Texas based insurance management and financial planning assistance provider ... organized to provide support to Christina Upchurch and her two children after the loss ... returned from out of town to find her husband passed away and their home ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh in Abilene, ... on false teachings pertaining to the mother of the Savior whom the world calls “Mother ... different picture of the role of this historical woman. , “The world bows, kisses ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... Vermont (PRWEB) , ... August 18, 2017 , ... ... phone numbers and call tracking and monitoring solutions, announced today the launch of ... site include a modern navigation and aesthetic, fully responsive design, and an enhanced ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... “Three Narrow Roads”: a vivid and provocative ... published author, Rev. Dr. Burnett King Sr., is currently the pastor-teacher-visionary at Simply the ... Faith Track Club, Inc., a track-and-field program geared towards youth. , King shares, “When ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/8/2017)... Aug. 8, 2017   ... diluted (GAAP) loss per share from continuing operations ... revenues increased 16 percent to $110 million ... 27 percent to $161 million ... from continuing operations increased 8 percent to $0.93 ...
(Date:8/7/2017)... , Aug. 7, 2017  Endo International plc ... reached agreements to resolve virtually all known U.S. mesh ... discussions to resolve the known remaining U.S. claims at ... payments beginning in the fourth quarter of 2017 and ... of its second quarter 2017 results, the Company intends ...
(Date:8/2/2017)... , Aug. 2, 2017   Marshall County Hospital in Benton, ... proactively reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). The new addition, Tru-D SmartUVC , ... energy to kill deadly pathogens such as C. diff , MRSA, MERS, Ebola and ... Tru-D SmartUVC ... Tru-D in action in a patient room ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: