Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Studies May Shed Light On Link Between Lack Of Neurons And SIDS

Date:
November 14, 2000
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Studies at the University of Illinois have identified a specific brain pathway in which neurons activate in times of low oxygen (hypoxia) and trigger increased breathing. The findings of the research - based on studies of electrical currents in rat brains - have led the scientists to postulate that many newborns don't have enough neurons to respond sufficiently to hypoxia.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Studies at the University of Illinois have identified a specific brain pathway in which neurons activate in times of low oxygen (hypoxia) and trigger increased breathing.

Related Articles


The findings of the research - based on studies of electrical currents in rat brains - have led the scientists to postulate that many newborns don't have enough neurons to respond sufficiently to hypoxia. Such a deficit in response capability, they say, possibly is a factor in sudden infant death syndrome, which each year claims the lives of 3,000 babies under a year old in the United States.

"It is not fully understood why newborns, whether they are humans, rats, cats, dogs or whatever, do not have a maintained response to low oxygen," said Tony G. Waldrop, a professor of molecular and integrative physiology. "My lab has shown that neurons in some of the brain areas involved in the control of breathing are inherently sensitive to low oxygen. This sensitivity increases over developmental time. Newborn animals have far fewer neurons that respond to hypoxia than do adults.

"It may be that babies prone to SIDS do not have the same level of ability of typical newborns," he said. "Maturation of these cells may be at lower levels in these babies."

In a study to be published in the November Journal of Neurophysiology, Waldrop and colleagues will describe the activity of sodium currents - electrical streams of ions or group of atoms - involved in neuron communication in the caudal hypothalamus and the ventrolateral medulla of rat brains.

In times of hypoxia in adult brains, they found, there is "a significant increase in the persistent sodium current," which is most likely the primary mechanism for the activation of neurons that help to regulate cardiorespiratory activity. Such a reaction, however, was not seen in rats less than 12 days old, suggesting that the brain pathway in neonatal rats may not be sufficiently developed to respond.

The research was a part of the doctoral dissertation of Eric M. Horn, now a neurosurgery resident at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. Waldrop is the UI vice chancellor for research and a professor in the UI College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign. Their research was funded by grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the American Heart Association.

Horn, Waldrop and Jeffery M. Kramer, a postdoctoral fellow in molecular and integrative physiology, elaborated on the possibility of oxygen-sensing neurons, based on brain-slice studies, in a paper in Respiration Physiology in 1997. In the October issue of Neuroscience, Waldrop and Horn reported that in live, conscious rats, the neurons activate and generate a protein called Fos when exposed to periods of hypoxia.

"We were able to take single neurons in the brains of these animals and go in and use glass pipettes to record the electrical currents of these cells as they communicate," Waldrop said. "This work has clearly shown that sodium ions mediate the neuronal response to low oxygen."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Studies May Shed Light On Link Between Lack Of Neurons And SIDS." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 November 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001110073151.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (2000, November 14). Studies May Shed Light On Link Between Lack Of Neurons And SIDS. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001110073151.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Studies May Shed Light On Link Between Lack Of Neurons And SIDS." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001110073151.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The British ship RFA ARGUS arrived in Sierra Leone to deliver supplies and equipment to help the fight against Ebola. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
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