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
Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences