Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research out this week helps us understand basics of how neurons communicate

06.10.2004


Nerve cells with a mutant calcium channel don’t communicate as effectively as those with a normal calcium channel, according Saint Louis University research that is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition the week of Oct. 4.



"The research helps us understand the basic mechanism that underlies how neurons communicate," said Amy Harkins, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacological and physiological science at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and principal investigator.

"The entry of calcium into cells is a very important process that allows muscles to contract, the heart to beat and nerve cells to communicate with one another. The research is teaching us how a very integral part of our cellular structure works."


Communication between nerve cells occurs when calcium enters a nerve cell and causes the cell to release a chemical called a neurotransmitter that then carries a signal to other nerve cells. Calcium cannot freely enter cells, and must wait for an opening of a molecular gate, which is called a calcium channel.

"In this study we removed a specific part of the calcium channel molecule called the ’synaptic protein interaction site’ and put this mutant calcium channel back into cells," Dr. Harkins said. "We found that cells with the mutant calcium channel no longer released neurotransmitter as efficiently as cells with the normal calcium channel."

The research, done in collaboration with investigators at The University of Chicago and Tufts University, is important in helping us understand more about the important process of communication between nerve cells, Dr. Harkins said.

"It gives us a basic understanding of how something works. In some ways, the body is similar to a broken car. When something goes wrong, you can’t fix it if you don’t know how it works."

Saint Louis University findings are published in PNAS online edition

Nancy Solomon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.slu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

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...

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

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>