HOME >> MEDICINE >> NEWS
Some brain cells 'change channels' to fine-tune the message

Johns Hopkins researchers have identified the proteins that allow specific brain cells to "change channels," a rare ability that tweaks what can come into the cell. The findings, described in the March 24 issue of Neuron, may let researchers harness the process, perhaps one day using it to protect cells that die in Lou Gehrig's disease.

Much as turning the television dial changes what comes into the living room, these brain cells are able to change what they allow in by swapping one kind of channel, or membrane opening, for another. Doing so lets the cells fine-tune their messages and adjust connections within the cerebellum, the brain region that controls fine motor skills.

Although the cells' channel-changing ability has been recognized for a few years, the key players controlling it hadn't been identified. Now, by studying mice, the Hopkins team has identified two proteins, called PICK1 and NSF for short, that help replace channels that let charged calcium ions in with another kind of channel that keeps calcium out. If muscle-controlling nerve cells can do the same thing, forcing the swap might help protect them from a calcium overdose that can kill them in Lou Gehrig's disease.

"We don't know yet whether this happens in muscle-controlling nerve cells, but we're looking into it," says Richard Huganir, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator in Johns Hopkins' Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences.

So far, no one has really looked for the channel changing in other cells in the brain, he says, in part because the swapped channels are most common in these particular cells in the cerebellum (so-called stellate cells). But Huganir thinks the channel changing is going to be relatively common in the brain.

Whether through channel changing or other, more well-understood ways of fine-tuning its responsiveness, a brain cell's activity level depends on its neighbors, the nerves and other
'"/>

Contact: Joanna Downer
jdowner1@jhmi.edu
410-614-5105
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
25-Mar-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related medicine news :

1. First mouse model for multiple system atrophy points to new treatment targets for brain diseases
2. Can you read my mind? W.M. Keck Foundation funds innovative brain research at Carnegie Mellon
3. Scientist works on innovative treatments for brain tumors
4. Mechanism of RNA recoding: New twists in brain protein production
5. Does the college experience damage your brain?
6. Dartmouth researchers find where musical memories are stored in the brain
7. Common anesthetics appear safe for developing fetal brain
8. Breakthrough in medical research: New chemotherapy gives hope to brain tumour patients
9. New scale predicts recovery of consciousness from coma after brain injury
10. Study: Two brain systems regulate how we call for help
11. University of Manchester awarded 826k for brain science and mental health research

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


(Date:2/19/2020)... ... 19, 2020 , ... In 2017, the EU’s revamped Medical ... that currently govern medical device manufacturers under the Medical Devices Directive (MDD); the ... Major changes from the previous MDD include:, , Elimination ...
(Date:2/19/2020)... ORLANDO, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... February 19, 2020 , ... ... per year as a result of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs.) According to The Centers for ... accounted for is the large amount of screens that are now acting as an ...
(Date:2/16/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... February 16, 2020 , ... Canadian digital ... around the world to call who are concerned about the Coronavirus. , "It is ... we are trying to contain this deadly virus" said Prakash Chand, CEO of Ask ...
(Date:2/15/2020)... ... February 14, 2020 , ... It all started back in ... drawing these heart-shaped characters and knew she was on to something special. The ... navigate through any life challenge including a health condition or illness, a disability or ...
(Date:2/14/2020)... , ... February 14, 2020 , ... ... automation solution , further strengthening the company’s support for healthcare organizations using Amazon ... them don’t have the resources or experience to do so,” explained Cloudticity Founder ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/19/2020)... ... February 19, 2020 , ... ... for research data management, has released a new SnapGene integration. ... features. With a ‘Quick View’ of supported DNA files, the molecular biology ...
(Date:2/16/2020)... Wash. (PRWEB) , ... February 16, 2020 , ... In ... will provide free dental services at its Kennewick, WA office. , A limited number ... are unable to schedule beforehand. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please ...
(Date:2/15/2020)... ... February 14, 2020 , ... The creators of ... insert for a relaxing sleep experience—are excited to announce the launch of a Kickstarter ... shipped four different types of pillows over the last four years. Dullo Plus is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: