HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Altering a protein makes mice less fearful

A University of Iowa study shows that loss or chemical inhibition of a protein, known as acid sensing ion channel protein (ASIC1a), reduces innate fear behavior in lab animals, making normally timid mice relatively fearless. The findings might provide useful insight into anxiety disorders and may even point the way to a new therapeutic target.

For humans and other animals, some fears seem to be, in large part, instinctive and inborn rather than learned. For example, laboratory animals fear certain predators even though they have never been exposed to a predator. However, little is known about the brain mechanisms involved in innate fear responses.

The UI study, published in the scientific journal, Biological Psychiatry, and available online July 30, shows that disrupting the ASIC1a protein alters innate fear reactions in mice and suggests that this protein may be a critical component of the brain systems that underlie innate fear.

The UI team, led by John Wemmie, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry in the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, focused on ASIC1a because earlier research from the lab had shown that the protein was important in learned fear.

The new study examined the protein's role in innate fear by disrupting ASIC1a in mice and observing the effect on several well-studied innate fear behaviors.

Mice that lack the protein were significantly less fearful of open spaces, loud noises and predator odor than normal mice.

In the odor test, the researchers placed a beaker containing a fox-odor chemical in the mouse enclosure. Normal mice froze when they smelled the chemical and avoided the beaker. In contrast, mice lacking the ASIC1a protein showed a much-reduced freezing response and even climbed onto the beaker. The team showed that the loss of ASIC1a did not affect the mouse's sense of smell.

"These lab animals have never been exposed to a predator. The freezing
'"/>

Contact: Jennifer Brown
jennifer-l-brown@uiowa.edu
319-335-9917
University of Iowa
1-Aug-2007


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Altering genetic blueprint of receptors in brain could help stroke victims avoid brain damage
2. Altering steroid receptor genes creates fat burning muscle
3. Penn researchers discover how key protein stops inflammation
4. UCF research links proteins, stem cells and potential Alzheimers treatment
5. Teamwork between 2 key proteins necessary for normal development and regulation of red blood cells
6. Discovery of new protein could provide new understanding of male fertility
7. Unlocking proteins from their cellular shell
8. New research identifies anti-viral protein that may predict who might be at risk to develop lupus
9. MicroRNA works with Ago2 protein to regulate blood cell development
10. Carnegie Mellon scientists find key HIV protein makes cell membranes bend more easily
11. Call for EU to launch major project to map out all our proteins

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


(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, ... secure authentication solutions, today announced that it has ... Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation ... program. "Innovation has been a driving ... Thor program will allow us to innovate and ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today ... one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human ... first application of deep learning to create predictive models ... and a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen ... future publicly available resources created and shared by the ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will ... hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... focus on developing health and wellness apps that provide ... the Genome is the first hackathon for personal ... largest companies in the genomics, tech and health industries ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... IN (PRWEB) , ... September 22, 2017 , ... ... the Rocky Mountain Hobby-Expo in Denver, Colorado October 28 and 29, 2017, to ... the event is to promote participation in different hobbies, including but not limited ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... (PRWEB) September 21, 2017 , ... ... scientific and technical congress to review the latest knowledge on these products, which ... international speakers will discuss the impact of Biostimulants on Plant Nutrition, Abiotic Stresses, ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... ... this month, the response was swift and efficient thanks to the continuing efforts ... is made up of more than 50 stakeholders, including officials from area counties ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... Cybrexa Therapeutics , a ... the role of chief scientific officer. In this role, Dr. Paralkar will lead ... and CEO, Per Hellsund. , “I was impressed with Cybrexa’s revolutionary technology and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: