Neurons react to the transmission activity of exosomes on three fundamental levels
Tiny vesicles containing protective substances which they transmit to nerve cells apparently play an important role in the functioning of neurons. As cell biologists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have discovered, nerve cells can enlist the aid of mini-vesicles of neighboring glial cells to defend themselves against stress and other potentially detrimental factors.
Neurons (blue) which have absorbed exosomes (green) have increased levels of the enzyme catalase (red), which helps protect them against peroxides.
photo: Institute of Molecular Cell Biology, JGU
These vesicles, called exosomes, appear to stimulate the neurons on various levels: they influence electrical stimulus conduction, biochemical signal transfer, and gene regulation. Exosomes are thus multifunctional signal emitters that can have a significant effect in the brain.
The researchers in Mainz already observed in a previous study that oligodendrocytes release exosomes on exposure to neuronal stimuli. These exosomes are absorbed by the neurons and improve neuronal stress tolerance. Oligodendrocytes are a type of glial cell and they form an insulating myelin sheath around the axons of neurons.
The exosomes transport protective proteins such as heat shock proteins, glycolytic enzymes, and enzymes that reduce oxidative stress from one cell type to another, but also transmit genetic information in the form of ribonucleic acids.
"As we have now discovered in cell cultures, exosomes seem to have a whole range of functions," explained Dr. Eva-Maria Krämer-Albers. By means of their transmission activity, the small bubbles that are the vesicles not only promote electrical activity in the nerve cells, but also influence them on the biochemical and gene regulatory level.
"The extent of activities of the exosomes is impressive," added Krämer-Albers. The researchers hope that the understanding of these processes will contribute to the development of new strategies for the treatment of neuronal diseases. Their next aim is to uncover how vesicles actually function in the brains of living organisms.
The study was conducted in cooperation with the group of Professor Heiko Luhmann at the Institute of Physiology at the Mainz University Medical Center and bioinformaticians from the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Mainz.
Dominik Fröhlich, Wen Ping Kuo, Carsten Frühbeis et al.
Multifaceted effects of oligodendroglial exosomes on neurons: impact on neuronal firing rate, signal transduction and gene regulation
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 18 August 2014
Dr. Eva-Maria Krämer-Albers
Institute of Molecular Cell Biology / Biology for Medical Scientists
Faculty of Biology
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU)
D 55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-26257
fax +49 6131 39-23840
http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/17633_ENG_HTML.php - press release ; http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1652/20130510 - Abstract ;
http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/16545_ENG_HTML.php - press release "New mode of cellular communication discovered in the brain" (16 July 2013)
Petra Giegerich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Discovery of a Key Regulatory Gene in Cardiac Valve Formation
24.05.2017 | Universität Basel
Carcinogenic soot particles from GDI engines
24.05.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
24.05.2017 | Life Sciences
24.05.2017 | Life Sciences
24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy