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:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun ... NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is ... is geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States and the loss of ... William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have six children, ten grandchildren, ... Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and carrier pilot, he spent ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... PALM CITY, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... of cold therapy products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of ... the multipurpose pad so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP , a leader in healthcare events ... Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced during the ... The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range of sectors. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... In the United ... year. In some states—like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, Connecticut, and ... havens have extremely low property-tax rates, which contributes to the relatively lower cost ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... , Oct. 12, 2017   Divoti USA ... Jewelry up to the standard of the latest FDA requirements, which ... 2017). Anyone in need of Medical ID jewelry such ... Alert Jewelry are engraved in terms of the new ... Divoti offers ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Oct. 11, 2017  True Health, a leader ... its effort during National Breast Cancer Awareness month ... risks. Research ... calculated that more than 10 million American women ... in BRCA1 or BRCA2 and have not had testing. ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... 6, 2017   Provista, a proven leader ... billion in purchasing power, today announced a new resource ... The Newsroom is the online home for case ... expert bios, news releases, slideshows and events. ... wealth of resources at their fingertips, viewers can also ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: