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:2/16/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Teaching nursing care of vulnerable children is the ... (pediatrics) is being created with the support of the Hearst Foundations. An initiative of ... will address what has been identified as a critical gap in preparing the next ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... ... February 16, 2017 , ... As a reflection of ... care, NWH has achieved Magnet® recognition for the second time, announced ... The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program® distinguishes organizations that meet rigorous ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... ... February 16, 2017 , ... PRESS RELEASE, FOR ... , David A Doege is excited to announce the launch of Doege ... up new builds, design build, and site improvements. , Mr. Doege says, "I ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... ... 16, 2017 , ... A February 6 article on World Health.net ... noting that some 425,000 procedures were performed with the new technology in 2015. ... fact, seeing a great deal of interest from area patients who are seeking out ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Anahata Ananda of Shamangelic Healing, Sedona ... healing and society on the widely followed Aubrey Marcus Podcast in Austin, TX. ... many, the challenges facing them today can be daunting. In this episode, "Healing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/18/2017)... DUBLIN , Feb. 17, 2017 Research and ... Business Report" report to their offering. ... The report provides separate comprehensive analytics for the US, ... Europe , Asia-Pacific , Latin America ... for the period 2015 through 2022. Also, a six-year historic analysis is ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... According to a new market research report "Particle Counters ... Monitoring, Contamination Monitoring of Liquids), and End User (Healthcare Industry, Semiconductor ... is expected to reach USD 330.6 Million by 2021 from USD ... to 2021. Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... Feb 17, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... Report" report to their offering. ... The report provides separate comprehensive analytics for the US, ... , Asia-Pacific , and Rest of World. Annual estimates ... six-year historic analysis is provided for these markets. Market data and analytics ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: