Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Investigating the Development of Mechanosensitivity

25.05.2009
Researchers of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany, have gained crucial insight into how mechanosensitivity arises.

By measuring electrical impulses in the sensory neurons of mice, the neurobiologists and pain researchers Dr. Stefan G. Lechner and Professor Gary Lewin were able to directly elucidate, for the first time, the emergence of mechanosensitivity. At the same time they were able to show that neurons develop their sensitivity to touch and pain during different developmental phases but always coincidentally with the growth of the neuronal pathways. (EMBO Journal, 2009, doi:10.1038/emboj.2009.73).*

The sensory neurons, which are sensitive to touch and pain, are located in the dorsal root ganglia between the intervertebral discs. The neurons receive the stimulus and convert it into electrical signals that are conveyed to the brain.

Signal transduction has been investigated very thoroughly, which has led to the development of drugs that block the transduction of pain signals to the brain. Very little, however, is known about how stimulus sensitivity actually emerges.

Using the patch-clamp technique in isolated cells of mouse embryos, the MDC researchers succeeded in measuring tiny electrical currents in the cell membranes after a mechanosensory stimulus.

"These measurements are extremely difficult," Dr. Lechner explained, "which is why only very few laboratories in the world are specialized in this area."

The researchers in Berlin-Buch were able to show that the sensory neurons in the mouse embryo have already fully developed their mechanosensitivity competence on embryonic day 13. That corresponds to about the end of the sixth month of pregnancy in humans.

For this development the neurons do not require any nerve growth factor, which is why the researchers suspect that this process is driven by a genetic program. In contrast, the competence to sense pain in the sensory neurons can only develop with the aid of nerve growth factor (NGF). It takes place at a later stage in embryonic development and even after birth.

*Developmental waves of mechanosensitivity acquisition in sensory neuron subtypes during embryonic development

Stefan G Lechner, Henning Frenzel1, Rui Wang1 and Gary R Lewin*

Department of Neuroscience, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin-Buch, Germany

*Corresponding author

Barbara Bachtler
Press and Public Affairs
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
Robert-Rössle-Straße 10
13125 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 96
Fax: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 33
e-mail: presse@mdc-berlin.de

Barbara Bachtler | Max-Delbrück-Centrum
Further information:
http://www.mdc-berlin.de/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>