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 Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>