Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University's School of Dentistry (www.ohsu.edu/sod) have discovered that nitric oxide is a powerful regulator of a molecule that plays a critical role in the development and function of the nervous system. The finding could someday play a significant role in the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure, which affects about one in three adults in the United States.
The new discovery is published online (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/123189946/PDFSTART) and will appear in the May issue of the Journal of Neuroscience Research.
Changes in blood pressure are signaled to the brain by nerve cells called baroreceptors. The OHSU dental school team previously found that baroreceptors make a molecule called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which belongs to the family of neurotrophins that play a critical role in the development and plasticity of other nerve cells.
The OHSU dental school team found that nitric oxide is a potent regulator of BDNF in baroreceptor neurons. Nitric oxide is known for its ability to improve the elasticity of blood vessels and to lower blood pressure. It is the active metabolite of nitroglycerin, which has been used to treat coronary artery disease for more than 100 years. Nitric oxide widens small arteries and counteracts artery stiffening, and several lines of evidence also indicate that its deficiency leads to hypertension.
"This is the first study to show the role of nitric oxide in inhibiting BDNF release from peripheral nerve cells," said Agnieszka Balkowiec, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator, associate professor of integrative biosciences in the OHSU School of Dentistry, and adjunct assistant professor of physiology and pharmacology in the OHSU School of Medicine. "This finding supports our hypothesis that BDNF is involved in establishing connections in the blood pressure control system and could someday play a significant role in the prevention of high blood pressure."
Additional study authors include Hui-ya Hsieh, B.S.; Carolyn Robertson, M.D.; and Anke Vermehren-Schmaedick, Ph.D.
The study was supported by grants from the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds.
Dr. Balkowiec teaches physiology and neuroscience to first-year dental students and is often an invited lecturer in dental school courses on orofacial pain. Since 2004 the dental school has received more than $16.4 million in research funding.
Oregon Health & Science University is the state's only health and research university and Oregon's only academic health center. OHSU is Portland's largest employer and the fourth largest in Oregon (excluding government), with 12,700 employees. OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support activities not found anywhere else in the state. It serves patients from every corner of the state, and is a conduit for learning for more than 3,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to every county in the state.
Sydney Clevenger | EurekAlert!
Closing in on advanced prostate cancer
13.12.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
Visualizing single molecules in whole cells with a new spin
13.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine
13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
13.12.2017 | Life Sciences