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:8/14/2018)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... August 14, 2018 , ... Ross ... next generation of freezing fat, at Clevens Face and Body Specialists. Dr. Clevens is ... to patients at his Melbourne and Merritt Island offices. Along with his associate, Amy ...
(Date:8/11/2018)... ... August 10, 2018 , ... ... providing innovative procedures to metro Atlanta. Drs. Brent Sharpe and Froylan Gonzalez recently ... Medical Center in Braselton. , On June 27, the physicians combined their expertise ...
(Date:8/9/2018)... COSTA MESA, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... August 09, ... ... treatment, officially announces LegitScript certification. LegitScript is a new verification process that substance ... Longridge said, “Being LegitScript certified means we can reach more people to help.” ...
(Date:8/7/2018)... ... August 07, 2018 , ... Josh Sprague, Founder and CEO of athletic goods ... the upcoming Leadville 100 MTB. , Accompanied by colleague Marvin Sandoval and equipped ... called “one of the most iconic mountain bike race courses in the world.” ...
(Date:8/3/2018)... , ... August 03, 2018 , ... ... UK since 2001. Gerry Newlove first started the Firstaid4sport business in the 1990's ... and Firstaid4Sport remains one of the leading providers in the UK of sports ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/3/2018)... , ... August 03, 2018 , ... ... the top 10 ACT patents list of the 5,000-strong association of app companies ... patent for “Mobile Self-Management Compliance and Notification Method System and Computer Program Product” ...
(Date:8/2/2018)... ... August 02, 2018 , ... Periodontist, ... for custom crown lengthening treatment at his Eden Prairie, MN practice. ... an unsteady self-conscious. Using decades of experience, Dr. Sanchez is excited to welcome ...
(Date:8/2/2018)... PASS, Ore. (PRWEB) , ... August 02, 2018 ... ... Montero Medical Missions humanitarian efforts, is an inspiring, international leader of sustainable advocacy. ... Water Life Science®/Nature’s Pharma®, The Power of Water® & Your Health sponsored by ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: