Navigation Links
Scientists learn more about how inhibitory brain cells get excited
Date:1/30/2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. Scientists have found an early step in how the brain's inhibitory cells get excited.

A natural balance of excitement and inhibition keeps the brain from firing electrical impulses randomly and excessively, resulting in problems such as schizophrenia and seizures. However excitement is required to put on the brakes.

"When the inhibitory neuron is excited, its job is to suppress whatever activity it touches," said Dr. Lin Mei, Director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University and corresponding author of the study in Nature Neuroscience.

Mei and his colleagues found that the protein erbin, crucial to brain development, is critical to the excitement.

It was known that a protein on the cell surface called TARP gamma-2, also known as stargazing, interacts with a brain cell receptor called AMPA, ensuring the receptor finds the cells surface. It is here that the receptor can be activated by the neurotransmitter glutamate. AMPA receptor activation is essential to activation of the NMDA receptor, which enables cells to communicate, ultimately enabling learning and memory, Mei said. How TARP gamma-2 was controlled, was an unknown.

Inside the nucleus of inhibitory cells in areas of the brain that control learning and memory, the researchers found erbin interacts with TARP gamma-2, enabling it to survive. "If you do not have this mechanism, your stargazing becomes very unstable and your AMPA receptor cannot be on the surface so this neuron is inactive," Mei said. They also found that erbin is only in these inhibitory neurons, called interneurons. They're already working on what they believe to be the counterpart for excitatory cells, which account for about 80 percent of brain cells.

"Interneurons basically control firing," releasing GABA, a major inhibitory neurotransmitter, Mei said. They tone down or synchronize the activity of pyramidal cells, pyramid-shaped neurons that get both excitatory and inhibitory input then make the call on what action to take.

When scientists ablated the erbin gene in mice or kept erbin from interacting with TARP gamma-2, a protein that helps anchor the AMPA receptor on the cell surface, TARP gamma-2 couldn't do its job. The result was less receptors on the cell surface and mice that were hyperactive with impaired learning and memory.

Cell activity hinges on receptor activity and receptors must be anchored on the cell surface to work. Ensuring AMPA receptors are strategically placed is a lifelong task since the busy receptors wear out and each brain cell has tons of them, Mei said.

He and his colleagues reported in the journal, Neuron, in 2007, two genes neuregulin-1 and its receptor ErbB4 that help maintain a healthy balance of excitement and inhibition by releasing GABA at the sight of inhibitory synapses, the communication paths between neurons. Years before, they showed the genes were also at excitatory synapses, where they also could quash activation. Both genes are involved in human development and implicated in schizophrenia and cancer.


'/>"/>
Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@gru.edu
706-721-4421
Georgia Health Sciences University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. New target to stop cancers spread discovered by Georgia State scientists
2. Scientists create 1-step gene test for mitochondrial diseases
3. Scientists Complete 1st Map of Emotional Intelligence in the Brain
4. Singapore scientists led by A*STARs GIS identify 4 mechanisms that contribute to gastric cancers
5. National Cancer Centre Singapore scientists discover p53 mutation hinders cancer treatment response
6. HIV-Like Virus Arose in Primates Millions of Years Ago, Scientists Say
7. Scientists Link More Genes to Common Brain Tumor
8. Temple scientists find cancer-causing virus in the brain, potential connection to epilepsy
9. Scientists identify new strategy to fight deadly infection in cystic fibrosis
10. Social Scientists call for more effective teaching in Higher Education
11. UT MD Anderson scientists find protein that reins in runaway network
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scientists learn more about how inhibitory brain cells get excited
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... ANGLESTRONG , the new recovery management app with ... App Store and Google Play . Florida-based Sober Network, Inc., the ... industry, partnered with Angle to build ANGLESTRONG. The new recovery management app is a ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... Bellus Medical, a leader in medical ... delivery of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). PRP systems are used by physicians in ... synthesis and provide a faster and more efficient healing process. There are many ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Forty-five percent ... those report that family members or friends have also commented about their poor ... loss wear hearing aids. One reason, suggested by 89 percent of American respondents, ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Isle, North Carolina (PRWEB) , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... 59% of cats and 54% of dogs, according to the Association for Pet Obesity ... professionals disagreed on key pet food issues such as the benefits of corn and ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... ... BrightStar Care Charleston , a home care and medical staffing agency, will ... on Aging’s Senior Expo on Thursday, March 23, 2017, at the Omar Convention ... our community. We are thrilled to participate in this event because we believe it ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... Summary Provides understanding and access ... entered into by the worlds leading healthcare companies. ... The Global Motor Neurone Disease Partnering Terms and Agreements ... deals and agreements entered into by the world,s leading ... - Top deals by value - Deals ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... 22, 2017 The top ... are Olympus Corporation, Nikon Corporation, and Leica Microsystems. ... in the overall market in 2015. The oligopolistic ... through result-oriented research and development activities and mergers ... focus on expanding their business to emerging economies ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... TAMPA, Fla. , Feb. 22, 2017  Corin ... Shoulder System, a device used to treat patients with ... form of shoulder arthritis. The condition, known as cuff ... arm and shoulder. The Humelock Reversed ... privately-held upper extremities technology company based near ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: