But new research findings from Örebro University in Sweden show that it is just as good to study a certain type of skin cells, since they function in a way that is similar to a type of brain cells that are suspected of playing a major role in both disorders.
"Among other benefits, this makes it considerably easier to develop and test new drugs," says Ravi Vumma, and the head of the research group Nikolaos Venizelos who is presenting the findings in the journal Neuroscience Letters.
One of the causes of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (previously called manic-depressive syndrome) is assumed to be that the level of important transmitter substances in the brain is too low, which negatively impacts the transmission of signals. That, in turn, is because the cells in the blood-brain barrier are not transporting enough of the amino acids that are needed for the brain to be able to produce signal substances like dopamine, noradrenalin, and serotonin.
"Altered transport of the amino acids tyrosine and tryptophan may be one explanation for the disrupted signal transmission in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder," Ravi Vumma explains.
We have therefore mapped how the transport of the two amino acids takes place, what paths they take into the cell. Various amino acids use different transport systems, and to enhance our knowledge about schizophrenia and bipolar disorder it is necessary to identify which systems are relevant for tyrosine and tryptophan.
Moreover, we want to find out whether connective tissue cells in the skin, fibroblasts, transport amino acids in the same way as endothelial cells in the brain, as this would constitute a dramatic enhancement of our ability to study how substances pass through the blood-brain barrier. The two cell types have a similar membrane function, to close out undesirable substances and only transport substances the body needs.
"The research shows that tyrosine and tryptophan largely use the same transport system and that it functions in the same way in both skin fibroblasts and the endothelial cells of the blood-brain barrier."
On top of this we were able to determine that the inward transport of tyrosine in fibroblasts was lower in patients with bipolar disorder compared with a healthy control group. Since previous research has shown that it was lower in individuals with schizophrenia, his discovery indicates that the two diseases involve a common alteration that is probably caused by a common genetic variation.
The head of the research group Nikolaos Venizelos says that Ravi Vumma's discoveries show that human skin fibroblasts can be used for studying the transport of both amino acids and drugs that use the same transport system. One of the problems today is that only a few of the drugs being developed to affect the brain are able to get through the blood-brain barrier, which means that they cannot have the desired effect.For more information please contact:
Pressofficer Linda Harradine; firstname.lastname@example.org; +46 70 643 1470
Linda Harradine | idw
The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences
Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine