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 Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>