Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Microtubules May Be Linked to Mental Disorders

13.09.2005


Destruction prevents transport of receptors necessary for cognition and emotion

Neuroscientists at the University at Buffalo have shown in two recently published papers that destabilization of structures called microtubules, intracellular highways that transport receptors to their working sites in the brain, likely underlie many mental disorders and could be promising targets for intervention.

In their most recent article, published in the Aug. 19 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, they report that destabilization of microtubules interferes with the action of the NMDA receptor, a target of the neurotransmitter glutamate, which plays a critical role in learning and memory.



"You can think of NMDAR as the cargo moving along a railway consisting of the microtubules cytoskeleton," said lead author Eunice Yuen, graduate student in the laboratory of Zhen Yan, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

"Microtubules are hollow cylinders made up of polymers of the protein tubulin," she said. "Agents that break up, or depolymerize, microtubules disrupt the railway, stop the traffic and reduce the number of cargoes that get delivered to the neuronal surface.

"In turn, fewer NMDA receptors are available on the surface of the neuron to interact with its neurotransmitter, which results in fewer signals being transmitted to critical areas of the brain," said Yuen. "Defects in neuronal transport are involved in many neurological diseases."

In an earlier paper from Yan’s group published in the June 8 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, the researchers showed that the neuromodulator serotonin, crucial to the treatment of depression and anxiety, also regulates NMDA receptor function through the mechanism dependent on microtubules. Yan was senior author on both papers.

"We hypothesize that the function of the serotonin receptor known as 5-HT1AR is to suppress the activity of the NMDA receptor by coupling to cellular signaling, which depolymerizes microtubules,"

said Yuen, first author on the paper. "The breakup of microtubules, in turn, interrupts NMDAR delivery to the neuronal surface, resulting in suppression of NMDAR function.

"This evidence shows that serotonin can regulate NMDAR transport along the microtubule cytoskeleton in neurons," she said. "Dysfunction of this regulation may provide a potential mechanism underlying many mental disorders."

Also contributing to these studies were Zhenglin Gu, post-doctoral associate, and Paul Chen, medical and doctoral student in Yan’s laboratory, and Qian Jiang, post-doctoral associate in the laboratory of Jian Feng, Ph.D., UB associate professor of physiology and biophysics.

The studies were supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and a National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression Independent Investigator Award to Yan.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York.

Lois Baker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.buffalo.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences

nachricht Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>