HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Brain-mapping technique aids understanding of sleep, wakefulness

provided Dr. Yanagisawa and his research group new hope for navigating the neural network.

The technique involves genetically engineering mice to produce a "tracer" protein only in a certain population of neurons. The tracer, a nontoxic fragment of the tetanus toxin, transfers itself from one neuron in retrograde fashion to neurons "upstream" -- those from which the tracer-producing neuron receives signals. Researchers then track the tracer to map the upstream neurons.

Dr. Yanagisawa and his colleagues are the first to apply the technique in order to study a specific neural pathway. They introduced the tracer into mice so that it was expressed only in orexin neurons, which are found in a part of the brain called the lateral hypothalamus. The researchers found that some of the upstream neurons in the anterior hypothalamus, known to be active only during sleep, send inhibitory signals to orexin neurons preventing them from releasing orexin.

"Neurons producing orexin keep you awake, and they also stabilize wakefulness," Dr. Yanagisawa said. "In order to fall sleep, you somehow must inhibit these orexin neurons. It appears that sleep-active neurons in a specific region of the brain are doing just that, keeping the animals asleep."

The researchers also found that during wakefulness, orexin neurons activate cells in other parts of the brain that negatively feed back to the sleep-active neurons in the anterior hypothalamus, keeping them from becoming active.

"This makes perfect sense," said Dr. Yanagisawa, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at UT Southwestern. "When one group of neurons is active, the other group must be inactive, and vice versa. It's a seesaw, or flip-flop, mechanism. That's important because you don't want to be half-asleep. You want to be either completely awake or completely asleep."

Another finding from the Neuron study may help explain why once you're awake and moving around, you tend to stay awake,
'"/>

Contact: Amanda Siegfried
amanda.siegfried@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
21-Apr-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Innovative tagging technique may help researchers better protect fish stocks
2. Innovative research technique reveals another natural wonder in Yellowstone Park
3. New techniques redefine assessment of liver disease
4. New technique will produce a better chromosome map
5. Researchers develop technique for bacteria crowd control
6. Bioluminescence at the service of a novel cerebral imaging technique
7. Natural antibiotics yield secrets to atom-level imaging technique
8. New imaging technique tracks traffic patterns of white blood cells
9. Vet College gets grant to develop fish virus diagnostic technique
10. Harvard team creates spray drying technique for TB vaccine
11. Novel laboratory technique nudges genes into activity

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


(Date:3/24/2017)... Mar 24, 2017 Research and Markets has ... Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report ... ... at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade to ... report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the given ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 Vigilant Solutions , a vehicle ... agencies, announced today the appointment of retired FBI special ... safety business development. Mr. Sheridan brings more ... a focus on the aviation transportation sector, to his ... Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation Liaison Agent Coordinator ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... Australia , March 9, 2017 4Dx ... prestigious World Lung Imaging Workshop at the University of ... was invited to deliver the latest data to world ... recognised event brings together leaders at the forefront of ... in lung imaging. "The quality of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) , ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... process optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, is pleased to announce ... of the new established USDM subsidiary “USDM Europe GmbH” based in Germany. , ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... of clinical trials worldwide, announced today that they were named one of the ... which covers the latest developments in the pharmaceutical industry. , “We take pride in ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Vibrating Orifice Aerosol Generator (VOAG) was ... droplets of known diameters for research applications such as for calibrating droplet measuring ... monodisperse droplets. , The VOAG requires forcing liquid out of an orifice ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... Waltham, MA (PRWEB) , ... April 19, 2017 ... ... of a $1.5M Series A-1 financing round. This event adds to several other ... establishment of its’ Executive and Scientific Teams. , ThermaGenix will use ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: