Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Scientists spot sneaky “neurodegenerative” iron at the European synchrotron

Scientists suspect that iron accumulation plays a role in neurodegenerative processes such as Parkinson’s disease, but its distribution in neurons has never been observed because of the lack of techniques to do so. Until today.

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.

... more about:
»Distribution »Iron »dopamine »vesicles

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.

Andrew Hyde | alfa
Further information:

Further reports about: Distribution Iron dopamine vesicles

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht When fat cells change their colour
28.10.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Aquaculture: Clear Water Thanks to Cork
28.10.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>