Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vollum scientists find new form of dopamine transmission

15.07.2004


An Oregon Health & Science University research team has uncovered a novel form of transmission between neurons in the brain that is mediated by dopamine. The neurons are found in parts of the brain associated with movement, substance abuse and mental disorders.
Scientists at the Vollum Institute, OHSU School of Medicine, reported in a study published in the journal Neuron that the neurotransmitter dopamine is released from midbrain nerve cells in a much more precise, targeted manner than previously thought. They discovered that dopamine molecules are released as packages from stores, or vesicles, in branch-like extensions of neurons called dendrites. The dopamine travels to dopamine receptors on tiny terminals within milliseconds. Until now, scientists had only detected the release of dopamine in the midbrain and suspected that the neurotransmitter was dispersed over wide areas to reach receptors.

"We’ve demonstrated that this synaptic current is over and done within a second," said John Williams, Ph.D., senior scientist at the Vollum Institute, OHSU School of Medicine, and a study co-author. "We knew dopamine was released in this place, we knew the cells were sensitive to dopamine, but nobody had been able to put the two together."


In addition, the study found that the current is highly sensitive to drugs such as cocaine, which increased the size and duration of the current, and even levodopa, or L-dopa, a drug converted in the brain to dopamine and which enhanced dopamine stores. L-dopa is used clinically to treat Parkinson’s disease symptoms.

The study focused on dopamine transmission in the substantia nigra, a part of the midbrain where dopamine cells lose function, leading to Parkinson’s disease, and the ventral tegmental area, a region containing dopamine cells involved in the rewarding properties of many abused drugs, such as cocaine, amphetamine, opioids and nicotine.

Researchers believe pinpointing alterations in the system under pathological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and substance abuse could help them someday identify new therapeutic targets for these conditions.

"We don’t know yet what the real significance of this process is going to be down the road," said Michael Beckstead, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow at the Vollum Institute and the study’s lead author. "For now, we’re looking at a basic physiological phenomenon."

Jonathan Modie | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ohsu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Warming ponds could accelerate climate change
21.02.2017 | University of Exeter

nachricht An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever
21.02.2017 | University of Utah

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>