Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neural Signal That Helps Wire Up Brain’s Movement Circuit Identified

Date:
September 11, 2002
Source:
Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine
Summary:
Scientists from Imperial College London and King's College London have identified a molecule that helps to wire up the neural circuitry responsible for controlling the movement of muscle.

Scientists from Imperial College London and King's College London have identified a molecule that helps to wire up the neural circuitry responsible for controlling the movement of muscle.

Related Articles


Writing today in the journal Neuron, the researchers describe how the signalling protein named WNT-3 directs specific neurons during embryonic development to make the correct connections in the spine to form a neural pathway that controls muscle.

Using mice, which offer the closest model to human neurobiology, the scientists found that WNT-3 is only produced by motor neurons in the spinal cord at a crucial stage when sensory neurons come close to them.

"Assembling the components to connect any neural circuit is a complex process. During development of the brain and spinal cord a hundred million neurons are looking for their neural partners to make connections with," said Dr Patricia Salinas of Imperial's Department of Biological Sciences who led the study. "We found that motor neurons release the WNT-3 protein to guide sensory neurons to make connections with them."

The ability to collect and transmit information to the brain from the internal and external environment is dependent on the sensory system. Sensory neurons carry information about muscle tension and body position to motor neurons in the spinal cord to control muscle contraction.

The researchers took pieces of spinal tissue from embryonic mice and found that sensory neurons stop growing and begin to branch ready to form a functional connection or synapse when the WNT-3 signal is sent out.

Tissue culture studies confirmed that the presence of WNT-3 causes sensory neurons to remodel themselves in readiness for neurotransmission.

"The molecular identities of signals that regulate formation of specific connections between sensory and motor neurons were previously unknown. Understanding the complex web of instructions that direct this intricate process may have important implications for neural regeneration following spinal injury," said Dr Salinas.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine. "Neural Signal That Helps Wire Up Brain’s Movement Circuit Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 September 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020911072244.htm>.
Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine. (2002, September 11). Neural Signal That Helps Wire Up Brain’s Movement Circuit Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020911072244.htm
Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine. "Neural Signal That Helps Wire Up Brain’s Movement Circuit Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020911072244.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 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