Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists provide new evidence for cellular cause of SIDS

09.03.2006


University of Chicago researchers and colleagues have found strong support that a disturbance of a specific neurochemical can lead to sudden infant death syndrome, the primary cause of death before age 1 in the United States. Approximately 3,000 infants die each year from SIDS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



In the March 8, 2006, issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers describe what happens during hypoxia when levels of the hormone serotonin are disturbed in pacemaker cells -- the specific group of neurons they previously showed to be responsible for gasping, which resets the normal breathing pattern for babies. Scientists found that normal serotonin levels are needed in these respiratory pacemakers to induce gasping and ignite auto-resuscitation.

"This confirms our previous studies," said lead author Jan-Marino Ramirez, a professor of organismal biology and anatomy. "Now we’ve just better defined the players in the system."


In a paper published last year in the journal Neuron, Ramirez’s work found that sodium-driven pacemaker cells controlled gasping. This work in tissue slices was confirmed in a study published last month by University of Bristol researchers who found the same results in rats.

Scientists knew that SIDS victims had disturbed levels of serotonin in areas critical for respiration. Since serotonin regulates the sodium channels in pacemaker cells, Ramirez’s research team examined more closely serotonin levels in sodium-driven pacemaker neurons in the breathing center.

When researchers removed serotonin from these pacemaker cells, the gasping drastically decreased, from typically about 20 gasps to just two or three gasps -- not enough for the baby to awaken.

"It indicates that if there’s a problem with serotonin, the gasping is gone," Ramirez said. "And when these children don’t gasp, they don’t wake up."

According to the researcher, when the body senses a lack of oxygen, it shuts down most of the cellular respiratory network and focuses its energy on gasping, which is modulated solely by sodium-driven pacemaker neurons. If that specific neuron is blocked, for whatever reason, the body cannot gasp.

This means there may be nothing wrong with a baby’s breathing under normal conditions, but if the baby goes into hypoxia from a blocked airway or because the baby sleeps on its tummy and does not receive sufficient oxygen, the child needs the sodium-driven pacemakers in order to gasp, which wakes the baby and initiates movement or crying.

"Gasping is an important arousal or auto-resuscitation mechanism," Ramirez said. It resets a baby’s normal breathing rhythm and also alerts the baby as well as the mother that something is wrong.

"During normal breathing, it’s a complicated network. However, the network becomes more vulnerable to situations like hypoxia, because under these conditions, respiration relies on only one group of pacemakers that become the critical drivers of [breathing] rhythm," Ramirez said.

Disturbed serotonin levels are also implicated in many psychiatric conditions, such as depression, bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder. According to Ramirez, adults suffering with these types of conditions may be survivors of SIDS.

Ramirez and his colleagues now are looking more closely at the effects of different levels of serotonin, as well as the hormone norepinephrine, and exactly how much of each is necessary to keep auto-resuscitation in tact.

Catherine Gianaro | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uchospitals.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>