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 Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>