Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers discover gene essencial to cerebellum formation

07.03.2007
A study published this week in the scientific journal PNAS provides new information on the origin of different cells in the cerebellum, an important component of the central nervous system found in all vertebrates, including humans, and the part of the brain that controls movement.

The study was completed by researchers from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), the Department of Cell Biology of the University of Barcelona (UB), the IMIM-Hospital del Mar, Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee, USA). The main authors of the study are Dr. Marta Pascual (IRB Barcelona and UB) and Ibane Abasolo (IMIM-Hospital del Mar-UPF).

Co-author of the study, Francisco X. Real, coordinator of the Research Unit on Cell and Molecular Biology at IMIM-Hospital del Mar and Professor at the UPF, explains that “this discovery sheds new light on the mechanisms of brain formation and has potential future applications for regenerative medicine. It provides crucial insight into the manipulation of truncal nerve cells (or stem cells) and their selective differentiation into ‘gabergic’ neurons, or cells that contain the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and that act as inhibitors.

Eduardo Soriano, Principal Investigator of the Developmental Neurobiology and Regeneration laboratory at IRB Barcelona, and professor at the UB, maintains that the study explains two important principles: first, “that the protein Ptf1a/p48 is needed for the production and differentiation of Purkinje neurons, the most important cells in the cerebellum”; and second, “that in the absence of this protein, the progenitor cells that should produce Purkinje neurons do not differentiate correctly and instead produce a different type of neuron, granular cells, indicating that Ptf1a/p48 acts as a molecular switch.”

... more about:
»Neuron »Purkinje »cerebellum

The researchers hypothesized that a transcription factor, whose function is well known in the pancreas and which appears to play a role in the nervous system, is also involved in the development of the cerebellum. In order to test their idea, and characterize the new mechanism of cell differentation, the authors used mice with a disactivated gene that codes for the Ptf1a/48 protein, and compared them with mice that express the gene normally. Their conclusions provide new insight into origin of nerve cells that form the cerebellum in higher organisms.

In a second research project, led by Francisco Real and Eduardo Soriano and funded by the Fundació La Caixa, the scientists aim to explore the potential of this gene to produce Purkinje neurons in a laboratory setting. The researchers will investigate whether the expression of Ptf1a/p48 can induce the production of Purkinje cells from stem cells and neurospheres, progenitor cells of adult neurons. This study is an important step toward understanding rare diseases, such as cerebellar ataxias, which is characterized by the degeneration of Purkinje cells. Producing this type of cell in the lab may lead to future neuronal replacement therapy.

Sonia Armengou | alfa
Further information:
http://www.pcb.ub.es

Further reports about: Neuron Purkinje cerebellum

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Light-driven reaction converts carbon dioxide into fuel
23.02.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Oil and gas wastewater spills alter microbes in West Virginia waters
23.02.2017 | Rutgers 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: 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

Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties

23.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light-driven reaction converts carbon dioxide into fuel

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Oil and gas wastewater spills alter microbes in West Virginia waters

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>