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Synapse in Biological News

Building memories with actin

... for long-term potentiation (LTP), an increase in synapse sensitivity that researchers think helps to lay ... think that the process, in which a brain synapse becomes more potent after repeated stimulation, ... pathway solidifies them so that heightened synapse sensitivity can persist. The researchers ...

UC Davis researchers visualize formation of a new synapse

... have observed that neuroligin is critical for synapse formation and function, but it is only recently ... PSD-95 and NMDA which are critical to synapse formation. "We are the first to observe that ... NMDA, are independently recruited to the site of synapse formation once the connections are locked in ...

Protein linked to mental retardation controls synapse maturation, plasticity, CSHL team finds

... mental retardation. Indeed, problems at the synapse -- in their formation and in the mechanisms ... A signaling protein's key functions at the synapse In a new series of experiments, Van Aelst and ... out, in proximity to another receptor type in the synapse called AMPA receptors. This finding proved ...

Capturing the birth of a synapse

... to begin building a scaffold to hold the synapse components in place. The moment of locking is ... by Washbourne's team captures the essence of synapse development, which occurs over and over among the ... for synthesizing molecules responsible for synapse formation, Washbourne said. "Basically," ...

It takes 2 to tango

... at both. Up to now, only the receiving side of a synapse was believed to play an active role in this ... that the neurotransmitter-releasing part of a synapse dramatically remodels itself in response to ... receiver side and the transmitter terminal of a synapse over an extended period of time. This involved ...

Origins of the brain

... study shows that some of the proteins involved in synapse signalling and learning and memory are found in ... "The number and complexity of proteins in the synapse first exploded when muticellular animals emerged, ... was to isolate, for the first time, the synapse proteins from brains of flies, which confirmed ...

A key enzyme helps keep the synapse on track

... cells via the synapse. Figuring out how the synapse traffics this information -- a process called ... the new study finds that removing synj1 from the synapse dramatically slows one of the very first steps in ... or "vesicle," of neurotransmitter chemicals. Each synapse has only about 100 of these packets. ...

Researchers find link between nicotine addiction and autism

... are important for the proper formation and maturation of synapses. Proper synapse function is critical to the nervous system's ability to connect to and ... tangle. So we knew that there was a genetic link to the process leading to synapse formation, and we had nicotinic receptors that had disappeared in the ...

Streamlining brain signals for speed and efficacy

... molecules then travel across the space between neurons at a synapse and trigger an electrical signal in the adjacent cellor not. "Most ... adds. When Bagnall and her colleagues took a closer look at the first synapse in the VOR circuit, they found that no matter how fast the sensory neuron ...

Study of marine snail leads to new insights into long-term memory

... cellular changes. It looks like you can't just change one side of the synapse if you want to have a long-term memory. You don't want long-term changes ... signals that are activated by postsynaptic calcium that travel across the synapse or somehow affect the presynaptic cell to trigger the synthesis of these ...

22nd Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Sept. 12-16, 2009, Turkey

... commonly used antidepressant drugs, the SSRIs, selectively inhibit the transport of the neurotransmitter serotonin, prolonging its activity in the synapse between the nerve cells. In the next step, the development of receptor subtype-specific drugs is currently encouraged. So-called hyperselective drugs ...

Scientists capture the first image of memories being made

... long-term memory formation. The finding provides the first visual evidence that when a new memory is formed new proteins are made locally at the synapse - the connection between nerve cells - increasing the strength of the synaptic connection and reinforcing the memory. The study published in ...

Tiny but toxic: MBL researchers discover a mechanism of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease

... giant nerve cell of the Woods Hole squid, Loligo paeleii, as a model system. Llins found that activation of CK2 blocks neurotransmission at the synapse the point where the neuron connects to its target. "Disruptions in the fast axonal transport system are probably key elements in the pathogenesis ...

Astrocytes and synaptic plasticity

... have recently been implicated in long-term modulation of neuronal synapses. For example, they release the neurotransmitter glutamate into the synapse prompting LTP. By specifically mopping up pro-BDNF, astrocytes seem to have another means to assist in LTP. However, while it's likely that most ...

NIH EUREKA grant awarded to University of Miami scientist

... a professor at the University of Miami's Department of Biology, and his collaborators plan to use a novel and groundbreaking process to enhance synapse formation or nerve regeneration. Dr. Chiba's project focuses on developing nerve connectivity by applying tension to individual neurons. A ...

Laminin builds the neuromuscular synapse

... into a matching conformation. But what coordinates these changes so the two sides mirror each other? The researchers think that one molecule in the synapse sculpts both sides. Their chief suspect was the synapse-spanning protein laminin. Made by muscle and forming part of the sheath that covers muscle, ...

Cocaine: How addiction develops

... connection between two neurons. As a reaction to the drug, protein subunits are exchanged in specific receptor complexes. As a result, the modified synapse becomes able to transmit nervous signals with enhanced strength a phenomenon that has been termed 'drug-induced synaptic plasticity'. Researchers ...

Weill Cornell science briefs June/July 2008

... like milk bottles, lined up and waiting to be filled for shipment. The new findings show that calcium ions, which help to send the signal across the synapse to another neuron, also control the cell's ability to rebuild the vesicles at the cell's terminal end. According to the researchers, the ...

The first autism disease genes

... story of discovering the first autism genes. Thereby she will highlight new findings on the role of gene mutations, their association with synapse abnormalities, and surprisingly a connection between circadian rhythms and autism risk. These insights will nurture applied projects on the ...

Get smart about what you eat and you might actually improve your intelligence

... the mouse brains for a biological cause for the improvement. They found biochemical evidence that there was more than the usual amount of brain synapse activity, which was consistent with behaviors indicating higher intelligence. "Now that we know how to make gerbils smarter," said Gerald ...

MIT probe may help untangle cells' signaling pathways

... system, and on two proteins that play a role in cell division. They are currently using the probe to image the interaction of proteins involved in synapse growth in live neurons. ...

4 Stanford faculty named Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators

... that a particular protein played a critical role in how synapses form in the nematode worm C. elegans. He is now working on deciphering mechanisms of synapse formation in higher animals, in addition to continuing his work in nematodes. Seung K. Kim, associate professor of developmental biology. His lab ...

Scientists discover a molecular scaffold that guides connections between brain cells

... is good evidence that these disorders involve miswiring of the nervous system, Dr. Huang says, which may reflect a problem with immunoglobulin-guided synapse formation. A Guiding Scaffold Made of Glial Cells In the work reported in their newly published paper, Dr. Huangs team traced the ...

Researchers uncover mechanism of action of antibiotic able to reduce neuronal cell death in brain

... against neurodegenerative disease caused by glutamate toxicity. Glutamate is an amino acid that is important in nerve transmission and the synapse - the region that connects one neuron to another in the brain. When an excess of glutamate collects in the synapse, the result is glutamate toxicity ...

CSHL scientists part of team that discovers role of rare gene mutations in schizophrenia

... 11, or 45 percent, affect cellular signaling pathways critical to neuronal cell growth, migration, proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and synapse formation. Some of the affected pathways have turned up in past studies of schizophrenia, notably those involving signaling in neuregulin, a growth ...

CSHL scientists identify a mechanism that helps fruit flies lock-in memories

... several of the protein-precursors identified by Dr. Zhangs team, including one arising from a gene called dlg1. A gene very similar to dlg1 acts in synapse formation in mammals. Testing the Result in Living Flies What about the fly? Dr. Dubnaus lab performed the final step. They genetically ...

'Brains R Us': Neuroscience and education town hall

... San Diego and The Science Network will hold a public discussion of the possibilities. Brains R Us a town hall on the science of educating, from synapse to schoolroom, neurons to neighborhoods takes place in the Frederic de Hoffmann Auditorium, at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. The ...

Novel mechanism for long-term learning identified by Carnegie Mellon researchers

... According to Barth, scientists knew that logically, after an initial learning or training experience, this change in receptor function and resulting synapse deterioration would mean that learning would stop, and perhaps with continued stimulation neural processes might even degrade but experience showed ...

Breakthrough technology observes synapse in real time, supporting theory of vesicular recycling

... 'kiss-and-run' theory of vesicular recycling." The new technology used in these experiments should bring scientists much more insight into how the synapse works generally, and that could have real implications for our understanding of neurological health and illness, Dr. Ryan says. "This is all part ...

Newly identified protein complex sheds light on axon growth mechanism

... molecular mechanisms underlying axon growth and synapse formation in the nematode worm C.elegans. In a ... - a process that drives axon growth and helps synapse formation. The research also shows that UNC-69 is ... process that is necessary for axon growth and new synapse formation. The short coiled-coil ...

How nerve cells stay in shape

... change and in this way store new memory. A synapse has two parts: one originates from the axon of ... for a possible explanation for the observed synapse changes. Actin is a central protein in the cell's ... cells, a lesser amount of mRNA makes it to the synapse - this could explain its altered shape. "We ...

Scientists observe how a close bond activates the immune system

... able to physically manipulate the immunological synapse and measure the effect on T cell signaling," says ... antigen match, the T cell forms an immunological synapse with a dendritic cell through which it queries ... it is actually the outer edge of immunological synapse that boosts activation, not the center. Dr. ...

The synapse is a shotgun

... map of the three-dimensional terrain of a synapse -- the junction between neurons which are ... Their in silico modeling indicates that the synapse may behave more like a shotgun than a rifle when ... communication. The textbook view of the synapse describes it as a place where rifle-like volleys ...

Brain works more chaotically than previously thought

... until they meet, at a synapse, the dendritic arm of another neuron. The synapse presents an insurmountable barrier to the neuron's electrical pulses. The ... overcomes this obstruction by means of an amazing signal conversion: the synapse releases chemical messengers, known as neurotransmitters, which diffuse to ...

Researchers add to understanding of how brain cells communicate

... role. Neurons "talk" to each other by releasing glutamate at a synapse that binds to NMDA receptors on the surface of the "listening" neuron. If ... the open channel into the listening neuron at the synapse, causing the synapse to be strengthened and you to remember that "hot stove = pain." ...

Protein receptor cools passion of 'kiss and run' nerve cells

... the "kiss" is when one neuron fires a packet of neurotransmitter across a synapse to a receptive nerve cell. A team of neuroscientists led by University ... that we can change the degree of information that's passed through the synapse every time it's fired," said Alford. The process involves a receptor ...

High-resolution light microscope reveals the fundamental mechanisms of nerve communication

... nerve signals to pass between cells. Their contents are released at the synapse when the vesicle membranes fuse with the membrane of the nerve cell. ... with the cell membrane with equal probability at all locations along the synapse junction, but preferentially at so-called 'active zones.' The bruchpilot ...

Tiny RNA molecules fine-tune the brain's synapses

... play a role in fine-tuning cognitive function by selectively controlling synapse development in response to environmental stimuli. "A single neuron can ... Medical School. "If you could selectively control what's happening at one synapse without affecting another, you greatly increase the information storage ...

RNA splicing occurs in nerve-cell dendrites

... signals transmitted to the neuron by the axons of other neurons. The synapse is the neuronal structure where this chemical connection is formed, and investigators surmise that the synapse is where learning and memory occur. Researchers have long agreed that ...
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