Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Research Sheds Light On Basics Of How Neurons Communicate

Date:
October 7, 2004
Source:
Saint Louis University
Summary:
Nerve cells with a mutant calcium channel don't communicate as effectively as those with a normal calcium channel, according Saint Louis University research that is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition the week of Oct. 4.

ST. LOUIS -- Nerve cells with a mutant calcium channel don't communicate as effectively as those with a normal calcium channel, according Saint Louis University research that is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition the week of Oct. 4.

Related Articles


"The research helps us understand the basic mechanism that underlies how neurons communicate," said Amy Harkins, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacological and physiological science at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and principal investigator.

"The entry of calcium into cells is a very important process that allows muscles to contract, the heart to beat and nerve cells to communicate with one another. The research is teaching us how a very integral part of our cellular structure works."

Communication between nerve cells occurs when calcium enters a nerve cell and causes the cell to release a chemical called a neurotransmitter that then carries a signal to other nerve cells. Calcium cannot freely enter cells, and must wait for an opening of a molecular gate, which is called a calcium channel.

"In this study we removed a specific part of the calcium channel molecule called the 'synaptic protein interaction site' and put this mutant calcium channel back into cells," Dr. Harkins said. "We found that cells with the mutant calcium channel no longer released neurotransmitter as efficiently as cells with the normal calcium channel."

The research, done in collaboration with investigators at The University of Chicago and Tufts University, is important in helping us understand more about the important process of communication between nerve cells, Dr. Harkins said.

"It gives us a basic understanding of how something works. In some ways, the body is similar to a broken car. When something goes wrong, you can't fix it if you don't know how it works."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Saint Louis University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Saint Louis University. "New Research Sheds Light On Basics Of How Neurons Communicate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041006083331.htm>.
Saint Louis University. (2004, October 7). New Research Sheds Light On Basics Of How Neurons Communicate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041006083331.htm
Saint Louis University. "New Research Sheds Light On Basics Of How Neurons Communicate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041006083331.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
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