Picking apart how neurons learn

Johns Hopkins researchers have used mouse mutants to define critical steps involved in learning basic motor skills. The study focuses on the behavior of two proteins and the specific steps they take to control a neuron's ability to learn by adapting to signals from other nerve cells.

The findings, published in the March 16 issue of Neuron, pull together a growing body of evidence from the field. The study shows definitively that interactions between the PICK1 protein and another group of proteins known as AMPA receptors are critical for specific neurons, called Purkinje cells, in the lower back part of the brain to become de-sensitized to certain molecular signals.

Desensitization to molecular signals from neighboring neurons - a process known as long-term depression, or LTD - is thought to be responsible for several forms of motor learning, one of which is known as the vestibulo-ocular reflex. The vestibulo-ocular reflex coordinates eye movements with head movements, allowing us to perform activities such as reading in a moving automobile.

"We've long known that LTD underlies responses like the vestibulo-ocular reflex. This study gets at the heart of how LTD occurs, specifically how PICK1 controls the Purkinje cell's response to the signaling molecule, glutamate," says Richard L. Huganir, Ph.D., a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and chair of the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience at Hopkins.

The first critical step in establishing LTD happens when Purkinje cells swallow up surface proteins called AMPA receptors. Without AMPA receptors on the surface, these cells no longer are able to respond to signals from neighboring neurons. Researchers had known that PICK1 somehow was involved in the swallowing and removal of AMPA receptors, but only in this most recent study did they reveal how.

The investigators used individual nerve cells as well as brain slices from three different populations of genetically

Contact: Audrey Huang
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Page: 1 2

Related medicine news :

1. Huge waves from 1 storm slam coasts some 6000 km apart
2. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
3. Nanowire arrays can detect signals along individual neurons
4. Different forms of amyloid beta in Alzheimers disease harm neurons in different ways
5. UCLA researchers discover how drug binds to neurons to stop drunken symptoms of alcohol
6. Agent protects Parkinsons neurons from rotenone toxicity
7. New neurons take baby steps in the adult brain
8. Specialized neurons allow the brain to focus on novel sounds
9. Louder neurons form more connections, Stanford research shows
10. Smart mice teach scientists about learning process, brain disorders
11. Next generation of Latino drug abuse experts at UH to learn, teach

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern ... Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He ... Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter ... bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set ... , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to set low ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, ... the dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity ... who are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global ... Trend magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition ... Florida. , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain ... for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it ... the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on the ... announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized ... has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor ... the third quarter of 2016, and to report ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , , , WHEN: , , ... , , , LOCATION: , , , Online, with free registration ... PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s Global Vice President of ... Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program Manager , ... witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand spaces, such as innovative ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Revolutionary technology includes ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced audiology and hearing ... Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first internet connected hearing ... IoT devices.      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382240 ... number of ,world firsts,: , TwinLink™ - ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: