Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rat kidneys and toad brains communicate in almost the same manner

07.05.2004


Dutch researcher Niels Cornelisse used computer models to study the electrochemical communication between cells from rat kidneys and cells from the pituitary gland of a toad species. He found many similarities in the coupling of chemical and electrical signals in these completely different cells.



Cells transmit electrical and chemical signals to other cells to coordinate the various cellular activities in the organism. Cornelisse made a mathematical model for the link between the chemical calcium signal and the electrical activity of brain cells. With this model he discovered many similarities between the linking of the electrical and chemical signals in a completely different cell type, the tissue cell, even though the cells studied had completely different functions.

Fundamental knowledge about the manner in which cells communicate with each other, could provide insights into diseases, such as cancer or brain disorders, where something goes wrong with the signal transfer between cells.


The brain cell originated from the pituitary gland of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis). This cell issues a hormone which regulates the colouration of the skin. This allows the toad to adjust its skin colour to the light intensity of its surroundings. The other cell type, the tissue cell, originated from the supportive tissue of rat kidneys.

Under certain experimental conditions, both cell types exhibit spontaneous electrical activity as well as associated spontaneous variations in the concentration of calcium ions in the cell. Calcium ions ensure the transfer of information within a cell and are, for example, involved in the emission of chemical signals, cell division and muscular contraction.

As well as the many similarities, the researcher also found an important difference in communication between the two cell types. In the toad cell, the link between the chemical calcium signal and the electrical signal was particularly important for initiating the spontaneous cell activity. However, in the rat cell, the link between the two signals mainly ensured the transmission of the calcium signal through a network of cells.

The research was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

Sonja Jacobs | NWO
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl/nwohome.nsf/pages/NWOP_5XZDBJ_Eng

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Two Group A Streptococcus genes linked to 'flesh-eating' bacterial infections
25.09.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>