Novel neurotransmitter overturns laws of biology, offers potential for stroke treatment

" this...could put researchers on the royal road to stroke treatment."

Johns Hopkins scientists have identified a new and unusual nerve transmitter in the brain, one that overturns certain long-cherished laws about how nerve cells behave.

Reporting in the current Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team led by neuroscientist Solomon H. Snyder, M.D., has also pinpointed the neurotransmitter's source -- itself a biologically unusual enzyme -- whose novelty as a drug target "could put researchers on a royal road to stroke treatment."

The neurotransmitter is an amino acid called D-serine. It's odd, Snyder says, because it differs in structure from any known molecule in its class found in mammals and other higher animals. D-serine is what chemists call a right handed amino acid. Normally, amino acids have atoms that extend from the left side of the molecule. These L-amino acids, as they're called, are the rule in vertebrates, whose biochemistry is set up to deal with these forms.

Some primitive organisms, however, notably bacteria, have a mixture of both L-amino acids and their mirror images called D-amino acids. But to find a D-amino acid in humans, Snyder says, "is unprecedented;" it's the equivalent of finding a Pterodactyl in your local pet shop.

Moreover, unlike dopamine, serotonin or other traditional nerve transmitters, D-serine isn't secreted at nerve cell endings in the brain. Instead, it comes from adjacent cells called astrocytes, which enclose nerve cells in the brain's gray matter like a glove.

The current study adds conclusive evidence to the idea that D-serine -- released from astrocytes -- activates receptors on key nerve cells in the brain. Activating these receptors, called NMDA receptors, has long been linked with learning, memory and higher thought. NMDA receptors are also known culprits in stroke damage in the brain, and have become a focus for anti-stroke research.

A body of work a

Contact: Marjorie Centofanti
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Page: 1 2 3

Related medicine news :

1. Novel therapy tested in mice could chase away cat allergies
2. Novel antibiotic shows promise in shortening treatment duration of tuberculosis
3. Novel p53 gene-based therapy boosts immune system and reduces tumor size
4. Novel drugs help solve Gleevec resistance
5. Novel imaging technique shows abnormal brain anatomy in children with ADHD
6. Novel drug-antidote strategy provides greater control of drug action
7. Novel imaging technique shows lymph nodes, metastases in breast cancer without surgery
8. Novel delivery method for nutrients wins Kaye Innovation Award for Hebrew university students
9. Novel vitamin discovery offers clues for cancer chemotherapy and lipid disorders
10. Novel findings about neovessel formation
11. Novel MRI technique provides clear images of blood flow

Post Your Comments:

(Date:8/19/2019)... ... August 18, 2019 , ... More Labs ... product, Aqua+, adding two SKUs to its line of functional offerings. Aqua+ is ... than water alone. Distinguishing Aqua+ from other rehydration solutions is the added benefits. ...
(Date:8/17/2019)... ... August 17, 2019 , ... ... Fastest-Growing Private Companies—the Inc. 5000 , For the 2nd Year In a Row, ... Growth of 192% Percent , Inc. magazine today revealed that YellowTelescope LLC (YellowTelescope, ...
(Date:8/16/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... August 16, 2019 , ... ... revolutionize and standardize pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical cannabidiol (CBD) products across the CBD market ... set to launch its crowdfunding campaign to raise $50 million on September 9, ...
(Date:8/16/2019)... ... August 16, 2019 , ... ... handcrafted, one-of-a-kind children’s aircraft to Ronald McDonald House Charities in New Hyde Park, ... residents undergoing medical treatments and their family members a comfortable and fun way ...
(Date:8/16/2019)... , ... August 16, 2019 , ... ... Angeles market, has joined the esteemed Haute Beauty Network. , The Haute Beauty ... privileged to present Dr. Arnaoutakis as a hair restoration expert and our newest ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/17/2019)... ... 17, 2019 , ... The American Legion Dorchester Post 91 in Cambridge, Md., ... for the benefit of veteran patients, adding to a donation in the same amount ... This most recent donation from Post 91 will enable the VA Maryland Health Care ...
(Date:8/16/2019)... , ... August 16, 2019 , ... ... to welcome South Bend Emergency Physicians (SBEP) of Indiana as a member group. ... Memorial Hospital of South Bend. , SBEP sought out the AAEM-PG for ...
(Date:8/16/2019)... , ... August 16, 2019 , ... ... on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s ... companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Microsoft, Dell, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: