HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
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
public_affairs@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-0442
Harvard Medical School
17-Aug-2006


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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Study provides insight into how the brain loses plasticity youth

(Date:7/31/2014)... the Rim Fire was in full fury, raging swiftly ... entered the backcountry of Yosemite National Park in California,s ... park, the battle began to turn, enacting a case ... combine to fuel large, severe fires. , "When the ... where fire had been used as a management tool, ...
(Date:7/31/2014)... or fat cells, are inherently different. Each of these ... own role in metabolism. In the human body, white ... primary function is energy storage. On the other hand, ... are only found in a few places in the ... type of brown adipocytes, appear mixed with brown adipocytes ...
(Date:7/31/2014)... nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and ... British Medical Journal Open (BMJ Open) (i) and ... article looked at the effects of tree nuts ... nut consumption resulted in a significant decrease in triglycerides ... article focused on the effect of tree nuts on ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):The Rim Fire 1 year later: A natural experiment in fire ecology and management 2The Rim Fire 1 year later: A natural experiment in fire ecology and management 3The Rim Fire 1 year later: A natural experiment in fire ecology and management 4The Rim Fire 1 year later: A natural experiment in fire ecology and management 5Hope for the overweight 2New international tree nut council study looks at nuts, diabetes and metabolic syndrome 2
(Date:7/31/2014)... through organs and even the entire body to visualize ... structures has been a long-time dream of biologists. A ... in the journal Cell has now made ... opaque organs, bodies, and human tissue biopsies transparent, while ... could pave the way for a better understanding of ...
(Date:7/31/2014)... York , July 31, 2014 ... Transparency Market Research "Quantum Dots Market - Global Industry ... 2023," the market was valued at USD 88.5 million ... million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 53.8% ... Quantum Dots Market Report at  http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/quantum-dots.html ...
(Date:7/31/2014)... York , July 31, 2014 ... Transparency Market Research "Electrodes for Medical Devices Market (Diagnostic ... Electrodes, Therapeutic Electrodes - TENS, Pacemakers, Defibrillators, Electrosurgical and ... Trends and Forecast, 2013 - 2019," the global electrodes ... million in 2012 and is estimated to reach a ...
(Date:7/31/2014)...  Smith & Nephew (LSE:SN, NYSE: ... announced its entry into the forefoot market with ... System. Comprised of three separate repair options, the ... repair and reconstruction, a metatarsal osteotomy guide, and ... fusion, also known as hammer toe correction. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:See-through organs and bodies will accelerate biomedical discoveries 2Global Quantum Dots Market is Expected to Reach USD 8,246.8 Million in 2023: Transparency Market Research 2Global Quantum Dots Market is Expected to Reach USD 8,246.8 Million in 2023: Transparency Market Research 3Global Quantum Dots Market is Expected to Reach USD 8,246.8 Million in 2023: Transparency Market Research 4Electrodes for Medical Devices Market Expected to Reach USD 1.45 Billion Globally in 2019: Transparency Market Research 2Electrodes for Medical Devices Market Expected to Reach USD 1.45 Billion Globally in 2019: Transparency Market Research 3Electrodes for Medical Devices Market Expected to Reach USD 1.45 Billion Globally in 2019: Transparency Market Research 4Electrodes for Medical Devices Market Expected to Reach USD 1.45 Billion Globally in 2019: Transparency Market Research 5Electrodes for Medical Devices Market Expected to Reach USD 1.45 Billion Globally in 2019: Transparency Market Research 6Smith & Nephew scores a HAT-TRICK with its entry into the high-growth hammer toe repair market 2Smith & Nephew scores a HAT-TRICK with its entry into the high-growth hammer toe repair market 3Smith & Nephew scores a HAT-TRICK with its entry into the high-growth hammer toe repair market 4
Cached News: