Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NO solution to high salt intake

08.04.2002


Nitric oxide, normally toxic at high concentrations, is now known to be involved in a number of functions within the nervous system of many animals. New research being presented today at the Society for Experimental Biology conference reveals for the first time that nitric oxide is also present within the neurosecretory system of fish and may help them cope with changes in environmental salinity.



Within the mammalian nervous system it was thought that nerve cells communicated exclusively using `traditional` neurotransmitters - small peptide molecules which travel between nerve cells binding to their surface and causing them to become electrically excited. It is now believed that a new class of transmitter exists - nitric oxide (NO). As a gas, NO is able to penetrate the cell and act directly within it, modulating its activity and allowing a rapid reaction to environmental change. This transmitter has been implicated in a variety of nervous functions from olfaction -the sense of smell - to hormone release.

The presence and activity of nitric oxide has, in the last 10 years, been demonstrated in almost every species of animal, says Dr Carla Cioni of `La Sapienza` University, Rome. At the conference in Swansea, Dr Cioni will show that NO may play a role within the neurosecretory system of fish. Fish possess two neurosecretory systems - essentially nerve cells which are able to release hormones - in the brain and, strangely, the tail. The system in the tail is known as the urophysis and produces urotensins. These proteins are released into the blood and cause circulatory changes which may help the fish to cope with changes in salinity.


Dr Cioni, and colleague Dr Bordieri, have been able to identify the presence of a specific enzyme, neuronal NO synthase, within these cells. This enzyme plays a crucial role in producing nitric oxide. Dr Cioni suggests that the production of this gas may modulate the release of urotensins into the bloodstream thus altering their concentration within the blood and their effect on blood pressure. Support for this theory has come from collaborative work with British scientists. It seems that the electrical (nervous) activity of the fish`s neurosecretory cells can be altered artificially by adding, or removing NO. In the presence of excess NO activity increases, and in its absence it decreases, lending considerable support to Dr Cioni`s theory.

"The next stage of our research to determine whether NO is directly involved in salinity regulation, where fish adjust to varying salinity as they move through different waters. But it seems clear that the NO system is a virtually universal phenomenon within the nervous systems of animals."

Jenny Gimpel | alphagalileo

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Human skin is an important source of ammonia emissions
27.05.2020 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme
27.05.2020 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

Im Focus: Rolling into the deep

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 5G switch provides 50 times more energy efficiency than currently exists

27.05.2020 | Information Technology

Return of the Blob: Surprise link found to edge turbulence in fusion plasma

27.05.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Upwards with the “bubble shuttle”: How sea floor microbes get involved with methane reduction in the water column

27.05.2020 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>