Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Jefferson Scientists Show Low Lead Levels Can Affect Development of Brain Cells

11.11.2003


Neuroscientists at Jefferson Medical College have shown for the first time that low levels of lead have a profound effect on the growth and development of embryonic stem cells.



According to Jay Schneider, Ph.D., professor of neurology, pathology, anatomy and cell biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, researchers have known for years the potentially devastating effects of even low levels of lead exposure on the cognitive abilities of children. Lead exposure is particularly dangerous in utero, given the “efficient transfer of lead” from a mother to her developing fetus, he notes.

Dr. Schneider asked, What impact does lead have on the birth and development of brain cells, and more specifically, how does lead affect what the brain stem cells become?


Dr. Schneider, who is also director of the Parkinson’s Disease Research Unit at Jefferson, and his co-workers took neural stem cells from different parts of the rat brain and grew them in a dish. Neural stem cells are cells that can become one of three cell types: a neuron, an oligodendrocyte or an astrocyte. The latter two cell types play supportive roles in the brain.

Dr. Schneider and his colleague, Funan Huang, a visiting scientist from China, found that low levels of lead – below the levels of exposure deemed safe for humans by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – can significantly affect the proliferation and development of neural stem cells. Lead significantly inhibited the ability of stem cells to differentiate into either neurons or oligodendrocytes, but increased their ability to become astrocytes, he explains. Dr. Schneider presented these findings Sunday, Nov. 9 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans.

Young women who were lead poisoned as youngsters can, when pregnant, pass lead to their fetuses, Dr. Schneider says. Lead has been stored in their bones, and bone resorption due to increased demands for calcium during pregnancy releases this stored lead back into the circulation. Prenatal exposure to lead is particularly dangerous because toxic effects on the fetus, as well as detrimental effects on the cognitive and motor development of the infant, have been documented.

“We think our results could indicate that early in development, the presence of lead could significantly affect the development and organization of the fetal brain,” Dr. Schneider says.

Next, he and his team plan to examine the effects of lead in an animal model. They plan to compare the effects of lead exposure both before and after birth, particularly the effects on the fate of neural stem cells and the influences of lead on cognitive abilities.

Steven Benowitz | TJUH
Further information:
http://www.jeffersonhospital.org/news/e3front.dll?durki=17258

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Flavins keep a handy helper in their pocket
25.04.2018 | University of Freiburg

nachricht Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled
24.04.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Getting electrons to move in a semiconductor

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Reconstructing what makes us tick

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Cheap 3-D printer can produce self-folding materials

25.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>