Researchers from CNRS at the University of Bordeaux (France), University of Sevilla (Spain), INSERM Grenoble Institute of Neurosciences (France) and ESRF have studied the iron distribution in an in vitro model of neuronal cells that produce dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger between nerve cells in the mammalian brain.
Because dopamine can form stable complexes with iron, Richard Ortega, from the cellular chemical imaging group in Bordeaux, believed that dopamine may exert a protective effect by buffering iron in dopaminergic neurons and that this system might be at fault in Parkinson’s disease.
To test this hypothesis, the team used the new nanoprobe imaging experimental station recently developed at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility to study the distribution of elements in cells. The resolution of 90 nm allowed scientists to visualize the elements distribution in the neurotransmitter vesicles. The nanoprobe consists on exciting the sample with a strongly focused X-ray beam and collecting the characteristic fluorescence signal that is re-emitted. This allows showing the different trace elements in a point, and then the sample is scanned point by point to form a complete multi-element image of the cells.
The team shows that iron is stored within dopamine vesicles inside the neuronal cells. This is the first evidence of iron-dopamine co-localization in neuro-vesicles. The results also explain that when dopamine production is obstructed, the iron in the vesicles drastically decreases. This new function of dopamine vesicles in iron storage is of critical importance to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in Parkinson’s disease. In this neurological disorder, dopamine vesicular storage has been found impaired. According to these results, this would increase the levels of highly toxic iron-dopamine complexes in the neurons. The results are published in PLoS ONE on September 26.
The synchrotron nano-imaging station offers a new tool for researchers involved not only in the study of neurodegenerative diseases but also in many other fields where the determination of metal ions distribution at the subcellular level is important such as: metal toxicology, chemical carcinogenesis, and cellular pharmacology of inorganic compounds. This is one of the reasons why the team decided to submit their results in an open access journal such as PLoS ONE: “ We want the different scientific communities to know that this machine is available, and the best way is by letting everyone have access to the results”, explains Peter Cloetens, in charge of the station at ESRF.
One step closer to reality
20.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie
The dark side of cichlid fish: from cannibal to caregiver
20.04.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy