Study provides insight into how the brain loses plasticity of youth

Boston, MA -- A protein once thought to play a role only in the immune system could hold a clue to one of the great puzzles of neuroscience: how do the highly malleable and plastic brains of youth settle down into a relatively stable adult set of neuronal connections? Harvard Medical School researchers report in the August 17 Science Express that adult mice lacking the immune system protein paired-immunoglobulin like receptor-B (PirB) had brains that retained the plasticity of much younger brains, suggesting that PirB inhibits such plasticity.

Intriguingly, brains of immature PirB-deprived mice also exhibited greater plasticity than brains endowed with the protein. Taken together, the results have important implications for the future study and repair of the brain. "Our study of mutant mice lacking PirB function reveals that at all ages, even during critical periods when circuits are prone to change, there are active molecular mechanisms that function to limit synaptic plasticity," said Josh Syken, HMS instructor in neurobiology and lead author of the study.

One way to promote new connections in brains damaged by disease or injury might be to target PirB. "The implications here should attract broad interest outside the field of developmental neuroscience because molecules and mechanisms that oppose neuronal plasticity represent new targets for therapy to re-establish damaged connections following spinal cord injury, head injury or stroke," said Syken, who carried out the study with Carla Shatz, Nathan Marsh Pusey professor of neurobiology at HMS, and colleagues.

Plasticity, the ability of functional brain circuits to change in response to experience-dependent neuronal activity, is largely restricted to critical periods of development. In their classic Nobel-prize winning experiments, David Hubel and Torsten Weisel showed that visual areas of the brain are responsive to environmental cues during a discrete period early in life, aft

Contact: John Lacey
Harvard Medical School

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
2. Study finds gender differences in renal and other genes contributing to blood pressure
3. Study suggests estrogen deficiency can lead to obesity-induced high blood pressure after menopause
4. Study: Sticking to the sand might not be such good, clean fun for beachgoers
5. Study points to new way to predict death risk from torn aorta
6. Study identifies new gene therapy tools for inherited blindness
7. Study finds contaminated water reaching Floridas offshore keys
8. Study sheds light on why humans walk on two legs
9. Study explains how pathogens evolve to escape detection
10. Study finds hereditary link to premenstrual depression
11. Study identifies energy efficiency as reason for evolution of upright walking

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/jwkl9t/capacitive ) has announced the ... and Patent Infringement Risk Analysis" report to their ... Fingerprint sensors using capacitive technology represent a fast ... Idex forecasts an increase of 360% of the number ... the fingerprint sensor market between 2014 and 2017 (source ...
(Date:11/20/2015)... 2015 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... growing mobile commerce market and creator of the Wocket® ... was recently interviewed on The RedChip Money Report ... weekend on Bloomberg Europe , Bloomberg Asia, Bloomberg ... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric ...
(Date:11/19/2015)... Calif. , Nov. 19, 2015  Based on ... Frost & Sullivan recognizes BIO-key with the 2015 Global ... Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to ... line catering to the needs of the market it ... product line meets and expands on customer base demands, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... 2015 --> ... companion diagnostics is one of the major ... pharmaceutical companies and diagnostic manufacturers working together ... http://www.rnrmarketresearch.com/global-cancer-biomarkers-market-2015-2019-market-report.html . --> http://www.rnrmarketresearch.com/global-cancer-biomarkers-market-2015-2019-market-report.html ... global cancer biomarkers market spread across 89 ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... Accutest Research Laboratories, a leading ... Organization (CRO), has formed a strategic ... - Temple Health for joint work ... (Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151126/10135429 ) , --> ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 --> ... in imaging technologies, announced today that it has received a ... the Horizon 2020 European Union Framework Programme for Research and ... trial in breast cancer. , --> ... --> --> The study aims to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... Global Biobanking Market 2016 - 2020 report analyzes ... maintaining integrity and quality in long-term samples, minimizing ... long-term cost-effectiveness. Automation minimizes manual errors such as ... technical efficiency. Further, it plays a vital role ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: