Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Distant Brain Regions Selectively Recruit Stem Cells

16.06.2017

Stem cells persist in the adult mammalian brain and generate new neurons throughout life. A research group at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel reports in the current issue of "Science" that long-distance brain connections can target discrete pools of stem cells in their niche and stimulate them to divide and produce specific subtypes of olfactory bulb neurons. This allows the “on-demand” generation of particular types of neurons in the adult brain.

Our brain generates new neurons throughout life. A diversity of stimuli promotes stem cells in their niche to form neurons that migrate to their place of action. In an animal model Prof. Fiona Doetsch’s team at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has now been able to show that feeding-related neurons in the hypothalamus, a brain control center for many physiological functions, stimulate a distinct type of stem cell to proliferate and mature into specific nerve cells in response to feeding.


New neurons (white) enter the olfactory bulb, a part of the brain that processes odor signals.

University of Basel, Biozentrum

Stem cells make neurons important for olfaction

Stem cells reside in only a few areas of the brain. The largest reservoir is the subventricular zone, where quiescent stem cells lie closely packed together. Signals from the environment can trigger stem cells to start dividing. The stem cells in the subventricular zone supply the olfactory bulb with neurons.

In rodents, almost 100,000 new neurons migrate from the stem cell niche to the olfactory bulb each day. Olfactory stimuli reaching the nose are processed in the olfactory bulb and the information is then sent to other brain regions. The closely interwoven network of diverse olfactory bulb neurons is important for distinguishing odors.

Stem cell activation over long distances

Each stem cell has its own identity, depending on its location in the subventricular zone. While new neurons are continuously generated, whether niche signals act to control different pools of stem cells is unknown.

“We have uncovered a novel long-distance and regionalized connection in the brain between the hypothalamus and the subventricular zone, and show that physiological states such as hunger and satiety can regulate the recruitment of specific pools of stem cells and in turn the formation of certain neuron subtypes in the olfactory bulb,” explains Doetsch.

When the animals fasted, the activity of the nerve cells in the hypothalamus decreased and with it also the rate of proliferation in the targeted stem cell population. This returns to normal levels when the animals feed again. The division of stem cells can be controlled by changing the activity of feeding-related neurons.

The researchers reported further that the targeted stem cell subpopulation gives rise to deep granule cells in the olfactory bulb, which may provide a substrate for adaptive responses to the environment. The results of the study raise the exciting possibility that neural circuits from diverse brain regions can regulate different pools of stem cells in response to various stimuli and states.

Original source

Alex Paul, Zayna Chaker and Fiona Doetsch
Hypothalamic regulation of distinct adult neural stem cells and neurogenesis
Science (2017), doi: 10.1126/science.aal3839

Further information

Prof. Dr. Fiona Doetsch, University of Basel, Biozentrum, Tel. +41 61 207 22 30, email: fiona.doetsch@unibas.ch
Dr. Katrin Bühler, University of Basel, Biozentrum, Kommunikation, Tel. +41 61 207 09 74, email: katrin.buehler@unibas.ch

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.unibas.ch/en/News-Events/News/Uni-Research/Distant-brain-regions-sel...

Olivia Poisson | Universität Basel

Further reports about: Cells brain regions nerve cells neurons stem cells

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>