Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain Cells Help Neighboring Nerves Regenerate

Date:
May 29, 2008
Source:
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Summary:
Researchers have uncovered a completely unexpected way that the brain repairs nerve damage, wherein cells known as astrocytes deliver a protective protein to nearby neurons.

Researchers have uncovered a completely unexpected way that the brain repairs nerve damage, wherein cells known as astrocytes deliver a protective protein to nearby neurons.

Astrocytes are a type of support cell in the brain that serve many functions; one of their roles is to chew up damaged nerves during brain injury and then form scar tissue in the damaged area.

Roger Chung and colleagues have now found that astrocytes have another trick up their sleeve. During injury, astrocytes overproduce a protein called metallothionein (MT) and secrete it to surrounding nerves; MT is a scavenging protein that grabs free radicals and metal ions and prevents them from damaging a cell, and thus is a potent protecting agent.

While the ability of astrocytes to produce MT has been known for decades, the general view was that the MT stayed within astrocytes to protect them while they help repair damaged areas. However, Chung and colleagues demonstrated that MT was present in the external fluid of damaged rat brain.

Furthermore, with the aid of a fluorescent MT protein, they observed that MT made in astrocytes could be transported outside the cell and then subsequently taken up by nearby nerves, and that the level of MT uptake correlated with how well the nerves repaired damage.

While the exact physiological role that MT plays in promoting better repair remains to be identified, this unexpected role for this protein should open up new avenues in treating brain injuries in the future.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Chung et al. Redefining the role of metallothionein within the injured brain: extracellular metallothioneins play an important role in the astrocyte-neuron response to injury. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2008; 283 (22): 15349 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M708446200

Cite This Page:

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "Brain Cells Help Neighboring Nerves Regenerate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080527170516.htm>.
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. (2008, May 29). Brain Cells Help Neighboring Nerves Regenerate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080527170516.htm
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "Brain Cells Help Neighboring Nerves Regenerate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080527170516.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. 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:
from the past week

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