The maturation of the brain of unborn infants is given a gentle “prod” by its mother. A protein messenger from the mother’s blood is transferred to the embryo and stimulates the growth and wiring of the neurons in the brain.
Neuroscientists in Bochum (Prof. Petra Wahle, Developmental Neurobiology at the Ruhr University), Magdeburg (Dr. Peter Landgraf, Prof. Michael R. Kreutz) and in Münster (Prof. Hans-Christian Pape) performed a detailed investigation of this signal transduction pathway and identified those molecules in the brain of the embryo that interact with the maternal messenger. This achievement delivers an important step towards the comprehension of this signal transduction pathway. Their research work is published in the current volume of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
The maternal immune system produces a signal molecule
In previous studies, the scientists had already managed to isolate the polypeptide messenger that plays a decisive role in the brain development of embryos and newborn infants, namely the “survival promoting peptide / Y P30.” Y-P30 enhances the survival of thalamic (diencephalic) neurons and promotes the neuritogenic activity of cerebellar and thalamic neurons. Prof. Wahle explained that it is “interesting to note that Y-P30 is not synthesized directly within the developing infant brain, but is produced by specific immune cells of the mother’s blood during pregnancy.
From there it passes the blood-placenta barrier and accumulates - inter alia - in neurons of the cerebral cortex of the embryo.” (Landgraf P, Sieg F, Wahle P, Meyer G, Kreutz MR, Pape HC (2005) “A maternal blood-borne factor promotes survival of the developing thalamus”. FASEB Journal 19:225-227.”) The scientists were able to provide evidence of the peptide in the brain of fetuses of mice and humans, and of postnatal rats.
Messengers need receptors to be effective
It was of particular interest to identify possible receptors for Y-P30 to enable investigation of the biological role of the messenger and to clarify its mechanisms of action. The research team has succeeded in identifying the molecules that interact with Y-P30, namely pleiotrophin, a protein within the extracellular space, and so-called syndecans, i.e. proteins on the cell surface. It was known that both binding partners could promote the growth of neurons. The scientists were now able to show the Y-P30 enhances the development of the pleiotrophin/syndecan signaling complex and stabilizes it.
The signaling activity within the neurons is increased and enhances the neuritogenic activity. Prof. Petra Wahle and Suvarna Wagh, PhD student in research training group 736, were able to demonstrate a direct action of the Y-P30 peptide on the growth of axons (neurites). The signal-receptor-complex comprised of Y-P30, pleiotrophin und syndecan thus appears to enhance the development of the axonal projection tracts and the wiring of the brain.
Prof. Dr. Petra Wahle | alfa
Separating methane and CO2 will become more efficient
18.10.2017 | KU Leuven
Bolstering fat cells offers potential new leukemia treatment
17.10.2017 | McMaster University
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
18.10.2017 | Health and Medicine
18.10.2017 | Life Sciences
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences