Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neurons Produced During Adulthood React To Stimuli

Date:
October 26, 1999
Source:
University Of Massachusetts At Amherst
Summary:
Brain cells that are produced in adult mammals respond to sexual stimuli, according to a team of biologists at the University of Massachusetts.

Findings may help in treating stroke, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease

Related Articles


AMHERST, Mass. - Brain cells that are produced in adult mammals respond to sexual stimuli, according to a team of biologists at the University of Massachusetts. Liyue Huang, a postdoctoral researcher, Benjamin Lawrence, an undergraduate student, and Eric Bittman, a biology professor who is affiliated with the University's neuroscience and behavior program, will present the research at the meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Miami, Fla., Oct. 23-28.

Until recently, it was believed that production of neurons in mammals ceased soon after birth. However, research within the past decade has shown that adult mammals do, in fact, continue to produce these cells. But the function of neurons produced after birth - and whether they manage to hook properly into the brain's complex circuitry at all - was unclear. The team's research suggests that these cells are activated during sexual behavior, providing the first direct evidence that brain cells produced in adulthood may function in a naturally occurring behavior, Bittman said.

Scientists had previously determined that adults produce new brain cells in two regions of the forebrain. Many of these neurons migrate to another portion of the brain called the olfactory bulb, which allows animals to sense and identify odors. Many neurons in this region respond to the stimulation of sexual activity.

The team made the determination by combining two techniques: one which allows scientists to "tag" individual cells that have been produced at a certain time and track them, much as wildlife experts track specific animals; and another which essentially takes a chemical "snapshot" of the neuron while it's active. Neurons with both markers are adult-produced brain cells that work in response to sexual activity.

"If there's to be clinical relevance for patients suffering from stroke, or brain injuries, it's not enough just to have new cells produced," said Bittman. "You need to know if the cells are actually working." Although the research was conducted on hamsters, scientists hope that this insight into how neurons are produced, and how they behave, may be a step toward new treatments for disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and stroke, which are related to the premature death or dysfunctioning of neurons.

The next step, Bittman says, is to determine whether neurons produced during adulthood respond only to sexual stimuli, and if so, which are the critical cues provided by the female. Scientists are also examining whether the neurons are triggered by other stimuli, including the scent of a female, the scent of an aggressive male, and a non-social odor such as peppermint.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Massachusetts At Amherst. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Massachusetts At Amherst. "Neurons Produced During Adulthood React To Stimuli." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991026074649.htm>.
University Of Massachusetts At Amherst. (1999, October 26). Neurons Produced During Adulthood React To Stimuli. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991026074649.htm
University Of Massachusetts At Amherst. "Neurons Produced During Adulthood React To Stimuli." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991026074649.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins