Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Timing Scavenging To Prevent Age-related Blindness

Date:
December 28, 2004
Source:
Journal Of Experimental Medicine
Summary:
Light-detecting cells in the eye must renew their light-gathering apparatus each day at sunrise (for rod cells) or sunset (for cone cells) by shedding their outermost tips, which are then gobbled up and digested by surface (epithelial) cells. Nandrot and colleages now report in the December 20 issue of The Journal of Experimental Medicine that the epithelial cells need a protein called an integrin to detect when and how to gobble up the debris.

Light-detecting cells in the eye must renew their light-gathering apparatus each day at sunrise (for rod cells) or sunset (for cone cells) by shedding their outermost tips, which are then gobbled up and digested by surface (epithelial) cells. Nandrot and colleages now report in the December 20 issue of The Journal of Experimental Medicine that the epithelial cells need a protein called an integrin to detect when and how to gobble up the debris. Without it, the debris is taken up slowly but then accumulates to toxic levels inside the cell, eventually leading to blindness. An identical build-up of cellular debris is a hallmark of macular degeneration in humans, the most common cause of blindness in the elderly.

Related Articles


Shedding and debris collection must be precisely synchronized to maintain proper rod and cone cell function. How this synchronous cycle of uptake and digestion is maintained is not completely clear. Nandrot and colleagues now show that, in mice lacking the integrin, the normal burst of uptake activity at first light was completely missing and instead uptake occurred steadily throughout the day. Debris accumulated inside the cell and was not destroyed.

That epithelial cells could still take up debris at all was a surprise, as tissue culture experiments showed that cells missing this integrin were unable to pick up rod cell fragments. The link to digestion was also surprising because integrin signaling has never been linked to cellular digestion functions. Perhaps the same signal triggers a cascade that initiates both concerted uptake and digestion. The authors are now trying to identify the protein that binds to the integrin and triggers these functions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal Of Experimental Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Journal Of Experimental Medicine. "Timing Scavenging To Prevent Age-related Blindness." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220024057.htm>.
Journal Of Experimental Medicine. (2004, December 28). Timing Scavenging To Prevent Age-related Blindness. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220024057.htm
Journal Of Experimental Medicine. "Timing Scavenging To Prevent Age-related Blindness." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220024057.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

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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