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:4/17/2014)... State University engineer has developed a patented technique ... explosive devices. The same technique could help police ... M. and Kay L. Theede chair in engineering ... and his research team have created a template-based ... car trunks. The distance detection method called ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... in Europe, Asia and the United States are spreading ... impacting native honeybee populations at this time, according to ... including Nosema microsporidia and Varroa ... to these invasive pests, which suggests to us that ... and the United States currently are not necessary in ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology ... with rather novel sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which ... Neotrogla , are the first example of an ... has been identified in several different animals, Neotrogla ... organ is also reversed," says Kazunori Yoshizawa from Hokkaido ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Patented research remotely detects nitrogen-rich explosives 2East African honeybees are safe from invasive pests… for now 2East African honeybees are safe from invasive pests… for now 3In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 This webinar ... nonclinical and clinical safety assessment in biosimilars. , Regulatory ... for biosimilar drug development, however the complex nature of ... quality, safety and efficacy extremely challenging. Based on the ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... DTS Language Services, Inc . is pleased ... Life Science organizations who need document translations. Clients will ... their documents in advance with a selection of nearly 50 ... often a critical factor in clinical and scientific fields, and ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... January 14, 2014 Date: Friday, April 11, ... Warrington Country Club, 1360 Almshouse Road, Warrington, Pa. ... organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B ... will host its annual Crystal Ball on Friday, April 11 ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... New York, NY (PRWEB) January 14, 2014 ... coverage of Alliqua, Inc. (OTCQB: ALQA). Alliqua is an ... products to serve the wound care market. , Free ... Alliqua was restructured with a seasoned management team and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Xtalks Life Sciences Webinar Examines Safety Assessment of Biosimilars 2DTS Improves Efficiency for Life Science Document Translations 2Hepatitis B Foundation to Host Annual Crystal Ball Gala 2EquitiesIQ Initiates Coverage of Alliqua, Inc. 2EquitiesIQ Initiates Coverage of Alliqua, Inc. 3
Cached News: