Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Astrocytes affect brain´s information signalling

14.06.2010
Astrocytes are the most common type of cell in the brain and play an important role in the function of neurons – nerve cells. New research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that they are also directly involved in the regulation of signalling between neurons.

"Our results contribute to the insight that astrocytes can affect how the brain processes and stores information,” says My Andersson, a researcher from the Department of Physiology at the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology. “This means that astrocytes should be given more attention in future when looking for causes of diseases that affect signalling between neurons, such as epilepsy.”

Besides neurons, the brain consists of a large number of astrocytes. These have previously been viewed primarily as the brain’s housekeeping cells, whose roles include regulating blood flow in different parts of the brain. Previous research has also shown that astrocytes can respond to and communicate with neurons.

Our personality, thoughts and emotions are created by activity in different networks of nerve cells in the brain.

“This activity takes the form of electrical impulses which are transmitted between neurons via synapses,” says Andersson. “In the synapses, transmitter substances are released, the most common being the amino acid glutamate, which helps to transfer signals from one neuron to another.”

In studies of rats, the researchers were able to measure flows from the synapses in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is important for memory and learning. They found that astrocytes affect how effectively signals are transferred between the synapses and how this signalling changes over time. What happens is that the astrocytes sense activity from the synapses and respond by reducing the release of glutamate.

The researchers’ discovery could lead to a whole new understanding of how the transfer of information between synapses is regulated, and of the importance of astrocytes in this process.

For more information, please contact:
Researcher My Andersson, Department of Physiology, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, tel: +46 (0)31 786 3517, mobile: +46 (0)736 753537, e-mail:my.andersson@physiol.gu.se

Professor Eric Hanse, Department of Physiology, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, tel:+46 (0)31 786 3510, mobile: +46 (0)733 823424, e-mail: eric.hanse@physiol.gu.se

Journal: Journal of Neuroscience, Apr 2010; 30: 5776 – 5780
Title of article: Astrocytes Impose Postburst Depression of Release Probability at Hippocampal Glutamate Synapses

Authors: My Andersson and Eric Hanse

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20410129

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View
22.06.2018 | University of Sussex

nachricht New cellular pathway helps explain how inflammation leads to artery disease
22.06.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>