Health of normal synapses seen to depend on neurotrophin signaling

In a new study, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center have shown that the long-term health of synapses -- the connections between brain cells -- depends on ongoing signaling by a family of compounds called neurotrophins. Although neurotrophins are known to be critical during development, the current findings are among the first to show the importance of neurotrophin signaling at adult synapses. A report of the study appears in the November 24 issue of Neuron.

The results have implications for understanding how synapses are maintained in development and in adulthood, and suggest that neurotrophins may protect synapses from atrophy in aging and patients with certain neuromuscular diseases or injuries. In their experiments, the scientists used a novel technique borrowed from gene therapy to block normal neurotrophin activity in a type of synapse called the neuromuscular junction. They demonstrated that the synapses of developing and adult mice fall apart in the absence of particular neurotrophins.

The results are evocative of the synaptic changes seen in aging, muscular weakness and other diseases, suggesting that artificially augmenting neurotrophin signaling might someday be used to protect against certain kinds of synaptic failure.

"In aging animals and in aging humans, the synapse we studied -- the neuromuscular junction -- falls apart over time in much the same way it did in our neurotrophin experiments," says Rita J. Balice-Gordon, Ph.D., an assistant professor of neuroscience and senior author on the study. "Below a certain threshold, neurotrophin-deprived synapses begin to lose function. This nerve-signaling failure is one reason for the decrease in muscle strength in old age. So, one question we'll be looking at in the future is whether neurotrophin treatment of aging synapses might slow this process down." "What we've done argues that, in any disease or injury where the neuromuscular junction or other synapse is

Contact: Sue Montgomery
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Health of worlds sea lions the focus of Wakefield Symposium
2. OneWorld Health compiles comprehensive state of infectious diarrhea treatments, potential solutions
3. Institute for OneWorld Health nominated for the 2004 World Technology Awards
4. Healthy fats and oils essential to satisfy calorie-conscious consumers
5. Institute for OneWorld Health receives Gates Foundation grant
6. Donaghue Womens Health Investigator Program awards grants to three at Yale
7. OneWorld Health CEO outlines mutually beneficial collaborations between industry, nonprofits at BIO
8. Addressing the Healthcare Needs of Our Aging Population with Technology
9. Institute for OneWorld Health CEO to speak at BIO on leveraging opportunities for global health
10. OneWorld Health completes enrollment, treatment in Phase III India trial
11. Institute for OneWorld Health CEO advocates focus first on developing world markets

Post Your Comments:

(Date:3/1/2019)... ... 01, 2019 , ... Geneious would like to announce it is extending the ... NTI. , Geneious Prime already has a dedicated importer for Vector NTI Advance ... files will be organised in Geneious in the same way. The next update ...
(Date:2/27/2019)... ... February 26, 2019 , ... Circulomics is launching the Short Read Eliminator ... long-read sequencing library preparation. , This kit enhances long-read sequencing read lengths by ... DNA is not damaged and recovered with high efficiency. Short DNA up to 25 ...
(Date:2/22/2019)... ... February 20, 2019 , ... As ... medicine, the traditional line between engineering and medical science grows ever thinner. As ... the medical device industry is making medical practice easier for doctors, more effective ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/5/2019)... ... March 05, 2019 , ... San Fransisko, or Sisko for ... him at four years old to pursue a career in dressage. According to ... most talented horse that she’d ever worked with. Unfortunately, Sisko suffered an injury ...
(Date:3/4/2019)... , ... March 04, 2019 , ... Stay on top of current hot topics through ... to all webinars is free, so be sure to register today to save your place! ... to see our upcoming webinars: , CLINICAL TRIALS, , March 20 ...
(Date:2/27/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Superior Controls, Inc., a leading Life Sciences ... on both the east and west coasts, today announced that employee Nathan Sandmaier, ... Sandmaier, a senior project engineer, joins Taggart McCormick, P.E., Anthony Whitesell, P.E., and ...
(Date:2/22/2019)... ... February 20, 2019 , ... Murrieta Genomics , the ... rapidly growing NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) field, have announced a partnership to bring ... "As an innovation center and idea incubator, we are always looking for new ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: