HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Discoveries in neuroscience

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Brown University researchers have discovered that mefloquine, an anti-malarial drug, blocks two gap junction proteins, or connexins, in low doses and with very few side effects in the brains of laboratory mice. The work opens an important door: Connexins found in high concentrations in the brain are believed to play a critical role in movement, vision and memory.

To understand how these communication "tunnels" work, scientists must be able to shut them off. Once those tunnels are disabled, researchers can pinpoint the information that connexins pass between nerve cells and determine how that information affects how the body's development and function.

A technique already exists to study connexins.

Scientists can remove, or "knock out," genes that hold the recipe for connexins, then study the results in mice. But the Brown University scientists who worked on the experiment Barry Connors, professor of neuroscience, and Scott Cruikshank, research associate said "knockout mice" aren't a perfect model. As mice and humans grow, they can compensate for missing genes by turning other genes on or off and cooking up other protein recipes. These biochemical changes can make it difficult to recognize connexins' role.

But mefloquine in adult mice precisely and potently blocks connexins called Cx36 and Cx50. There are about 20 kinds of connexins in the brain and eye, as well in organs such as the heart, liver and pancreas. Cx36 is found in the brain; Cx50 is located in the lens. By specifically blocking them, Cruikshank said mefloquine will be a useful tool for electrical synapse study.

"Mefloquine isn't a magic bullet, but it seems to be better than anything out there," he said. "It's a lot more selective, so it has real utility for science."

Connors said the discovery, detailed in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for the week of August 2, could shed light on
'"/>

Contact: Wendy Lawton
Wendy_Lawton@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
6-Aug-2004


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Discoveries reveal that gene regulation is bipolar
2. Discoveries made about cellular reaction processes from ancient life
3. Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and Phenomenome Discoveries developing software to allow visualization of genes and proteins
4. Virginia Tech Biologists Discoveries Could Help Target Cancer Treatment
5. New Fossil Discoveries Clinch Ancient Age Of Human Ancestor
6. Seattle, New York researchers to receive neuroscience prize endowed by UNC scientist
7. UNC neuroscience center awarded $1.7 million for nerve growth and regeneration studies
8. Californian wins neuroscience prize endowed by UNC scientist
9. Brown engineering and neuroscience group wins grant for brain study
10. UB biophysicist receives $2.7 million Jacob Javits award to continue distinguished research in neuroscience
11. National prize in neuroscience endowed by UNC professor

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/24/2017)... 2017 Janice Kephart , former ... Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues the ... Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting ... can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling the ... refugee applications are suspended by until at least ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event ... emerging and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and ... alongside the expo portion of the event and feature ... focused on trending topics within 3D printing and smart ... event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 No two ... researchers at the New York University Tandon School ... Engineering have found that partial similarities between prints ... used in mobile phones and other electronic devices ... The vulnerability lies in the fact that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The CRISPR-Cas9 system ... experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The simplicity of programming ... systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, such as with ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ., a data solutions ... “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with Dr. Nicolas Cacciabeve, Managing ... how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase in diagnostic confidence.* ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are the ... million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by air ... one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , “I ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... CALIF. (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... San ... part of its corporate rebranding initiative announced today. The bold new look is ... reach, as the company moves into a significant growth period. , It will also ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: