HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Studying glial cells in the roundworm may provide insight into human brain diseases

The key to understanding our brains may lie within a one-millimeter long worm, new research from Rockefeller University indicates. Reporting in the June issue of Developmental Cell, Shai Shaham, Ph.D., and graduate student Elliot Perens use the roundworm, C. elegans, to investigate the mysterious glial cell, which makes up 90 percent of the human brain and, when it malfunctions, can contribute to diseases like Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia.

Studying glial cells is technically difficult as they are essential for neuronal cell survival: disturbing them in any way puts the organism's life in jeopardy. Shaham and Perens show that worms are the perfect model system to study the function of these cells in the nervous system, because the glial cells can be manipulated and the neurons still form and function, though not entirely as normal.

"Glial cells have been traditionally hard to study in vertebrates because it is difficult to ask how they influence neurons beyond how they affect a neuron's survival," says Shaham, head of the Strang Laboratory of Developmental Genetics. "This is the first paper to take a serious crack at glial cells in C. elegans. It shows that the worm really is a great system in which to study glial cells, because we are able to get the kind of answers that could help us understand how they are functioning in the human brain."

The story began 30 years ago with the daf-6 mutant worm, the sixth type of mutant worm found that was defective in dauer formation. Dauer is when worms enter a kind of suspended animation state because of overcrowding or starvation. Research by other scientists hinted that the mutation in this daf-6 worm was involved in glial cell development, but no one designed experiments to directly ask, and the mutant was forgotten.

"We had this mutant worm that nobody had looked at in more than 15 years," says Perens, an M.D.-Ph.D. student in Shaham's lab. "We started with the knowledge that
'"/>

Contact: Kristine Kelly
kkelly@rockefeller.edu
212-327-7146
Rockefeller University
6-Jun-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Studying water quality in Colorado River Deltas Cienega de Santa Clara
2. Studying substitute animals will not save endangered species
3. Studying substitute animals will not save endangered species
4. Studying climate change in the Arctic: Scientists and students working together
5. Studying the chemistry of drugs in wastewater
6. Newly created cancer stem cells could aid breast cancer research
7. ESF EURYI award winner aims to stop cancer cells reading their own DNA
8. OHSU turns mouse into factory for human liver cells
9. UCLA scientists produce functioning neurons from human embryonic stem cells
10. UCF research links proteins, stem cells and potential Alzheimers treatment
11. Teamwork between 2 key proteins necessary for normal development and regulation of red blood cells

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


(Date:8/21/2020)... ... August 20, 2020 , ... ... Hassan Movahhed , a Clinical Operations executive with expertise in clinical trial planning ... the firm as an Expert Consultant. Throughout his career, Mr. Movahhed has helped ...
(Date:8/7/2020)... SAN FRANCISCO (PRWEB) , ... August 06, 2020 ... ... the life sciences industry, is pleased to announce that Eric Chen and Jessica ... Vice President of Product Management & Strategy, respectively. , Eric Chen heads development ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... ... August 03, 2020 , ... Accumen Inc. ... with medical equipment manufacturer, Spectrum Solutions, to provide COVID-19 saliva testing kits nationally. ... supply chain for more than 10 years. Early in the COVID-19 crisis, we ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2020)... ... ... True Terpenes , the leading platform for terpene innovation, research and ... the medical potential of terpenes and the potential entourage effect , where the ... focused on expanding the recently launched line of effects-based terpenes - Terpology by ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... HOUSTON (PRWEB) , ... August ... ... a biopharmaceutical cold chain validation engineering firm, is making available for ... driving the need to incorporate concurrent transport simulation testing into today’s biologics ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 03, 2020 , ... ... collection, today announced Jim Corrigan, President and CEO has been named one of ... broad cross-section of industry sectors, PharmaVoice 100 honorees are selected based on how ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... 29, 2020 , ... G-CON Manufacturing, the leader in off-site ... FOR LIFE.” The adoption of this taglines comes at a time of tremendous ... to provide patients with urgently needed vaccines and other lifesaving pharmaceutical treatments. G-CON’s ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: