Researchers find new clues to nerve cell development

MADISON--Similar to an insect's antennae, filopodia are finger-like projections on the tips of developing nerve cells that extend out to detect environmental clues and help direct axons to their proper destinations. Until now, scientists didn't know what kind of signals filopodia sent back to the cell tip, called a growth cone, or how they controlled movement.

University of Wisconsin Medical School researchers have found that the ends of filopodia generate tiny bursts of calcium that travel back to the growth cone to stimulate movement in the right direction.

"These bursts, which usually occur at the very ends of the filopodia, are extremely brief-about a 300-millisecond pulse--which may explain why they were undetected in earlier studies," says lead scientist Timothy Gomez, an assistant professor of anatomy at University of Wisconsin Medical School. "Since many other types of cells have these finger-like projections, we believe that these brief calcium bursts may be a universal signaling mechanism for all motile, or moving, cells, including immune, epithelial and metastatic cells."

The study, conducted by Gomez while he was a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Nicholas Spitzer at University of California-San Diego, appears in the March 9 issue of Science.

In the developing nervous system, neurons in the brain, spinal cord and elsewhere in the body send out long axons, which in the mature nervous system transfer signals to a target cell. A growth cone is located at the tip of each embryonic axon, and later becomes a synapse, the communication connection between nerve cells.

Filopodia sprout from each growth cone and are in constant motion, in search of guidance cues deposited by supporting cells and secreted by target cells, which are often located a great distance from the neuron's cell body. As the filopodia help steer the growth cones to their target cells, axons are formed along the way.

Gomez and his colleagues studied frog sp

Contact: Dian Land
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Researchers determine genetic cause of Timothy syndrome
2. Researchers find color sensitive atomic switch in bacteria
3. Researchers identify protein promoting vascular tumor growth
4. Researchers devise potent new tools to curb ivory poaching
5. Researchers create nanotubes that change colors, form nanocarpet and kill bacteria
6. Researchers ID chlorophyll-regulating gene
7. Researchers develop fast track way to discover how cells are regulated
8. Researchers identify distinctive signature for metastatic prostate cancer
9. Researchers report new gene test for isolated cleft lip and palate
10. Researchers discover why mutant gene causes colon cancer
11. Researchers identify the genomes controlling elements

Post Your Comments:

(Date:2/6/2020)... , ... February 06, 2020 ... ... research organization (CRO) specializing in complex interventional medical device and pharmaceutical trials, ... Regulatory Strategy. In this newly established role, Dorothy oversees the development and ...
(Date:2/1/2020)... ... , ... Liver cancer, called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), occurs each year in more ... is the 5th most common cancer and the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths. ... of HCC, while China has half of all patients suffering from liver cancer. The ...
(Date:1/29/2020)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... January 29, 2020 , ... ... DNA plasmid, announced it will start production of a DNA vaccine against the ... executed with Inovio Pharmaceuticals. A grant of up to $9 million from the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2020)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... February 04, 2020 , ... ... develops tools for characterizing microbiome populations down to the strain level, has announced ... will sell Shoreline Biome’s microbiome kits and other products to companies and research ...
(Date:2/3/2020)... BUDAPEST, Hungary and CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... ... ... headquartered in Budapest with US offices in Cambridge, MA, announce that OmniType, the ... Access Program (EAP) from today. OmniType is a best-in-class product featuring locus-multiplexing and ...
(Date:1/28/2020)... ... January 28, 2020 , ... Today, Salimetrics announced an addition ... Salivary Total Human IgG Assay Kit exemplifies Salimetrics’ 20+ year commitment ... can extend the accuracy and ease of use of salivary bioscience into infectious ...
(Date:1/24/2020)... ... January 24, 2020 , ... The plastic and reconstructive ... Center in New Jersey epitomize the notion that plastic surgery is much more than ... in popular media. , Over the last 20 years NJ Top Docs, Dr. Andrew ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: