Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers find a key mechanism in the development of nerve cells

01.10.2009
Chaos brews in the brains of newborns: the nerve cells are still bound only loosely to each other.

Under the leadership of Academy Research Fellow Sari Lauri, a team of researchers at the University of Helsinki has been studying for years how a neural network capable of processing information effectively is created out of chaos.

The team has now found a new kind of mechanism that adjusts the functional development of nerve cell contacts. The results were published in early September as the leading article of the esteemed Journal of Neuroscience.

The work carried out by Lauri's team and its partners at the Viikki campus sheds light on a development path that results in some of the large number of early synapses becoming stronger. The researchers found out hat the BDNF growth factor of nerve cells triggers a functional chain which promotes the release of the neurotransmitter glutamate. BDNF enables the release of glutamate by prohibiting the function of kainate receptors which slow down the development of the preforms of the synapses. The activity of the kainate receptors restricts the release of glutamate and the development of synapses into functional nerve cell contacts.

It is noteworthy that the brain of a newborn itself seems to organise its own development. The electrical activity of the waking brain triggers the series of events controlled by the BDNF protein, as a result of which kainate receptor activity disappears in some synapses. The development is based on the considerable plasticity of the developing neural network: it can reshape its structureand function to a large extent.

According to Lauri, the new research results help understand how central nervous system diseases originating in early development are established. The finding also provides researchers with the opportunity to obtain information about the different aspects of endogenous activity of the brain. At the same time, it could be possible to develop new kinds of pharmaceuticals for the treatment of childhood epilepsy, for example.

Lauri's team conducted the research in co-operation with the research teams of Eero Castren and Tomi Taira from the Neuroscience Centre, and the research team of Jari Yli-Kauhaluoma from the Faculty of Pharmacy.

Sari Lauri | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.helsinki.fi

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations
16.01.2018 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Unexpected environmental source of methane discovered
16.01.2018 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk

17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Only an atom thick: Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2D monolayer materials

17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Fraunhofer HHI receives AIS Technology Innovation Award 2018 for 3D Human Body Reconstruction

17.01.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>