Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tiny Cellular Antennae Trigger Neural Stem Cells

Date:
August 25, 2008
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Scientists report evidence suggesting that the tiny cilia found on brain cells of mammals, thought to be vestiges of a primeval past, actually play a critical role in relaying molecular signals that spur creation of neurons in an area of the brain involved in mood, learning and memory.

Tiny thread like cilia on brain cells act as sort of an antennae that directs signals telling stem cells to create new neurons.
Credit: Image courtesy of Yale University

Yale University scientists today reported evidence suggesting that the tiny cilia found on brain cells of mammals, thought to be vestiges of a primeval past, actually play a critical role in relaying molecular signals that spur creation of neurons in an area of the brain involved in mood, learning and memory.

Related Articles


The cilia found on brain cells of mammals until recently had been viewed as a mysterious remnant of a distant evolutionary past, when the tiny hair-like structures were used by single-celled organisms to navigate a primordial world.

“Many neuroscientists are shocked to learn that cells in the brain have cilia. Thus it was even more exciting to show that cilia have a key function in regulating the birth of new neurons in the brain,” said Matthew Sarkisian, post doctoral fellow in the department of neurobiology and co-first author on the study.

In the past decade, scientists have discovered primary cilia may have important functions in many animals. For instance, in 2000, Yale University scientists discovered defects in these cilia could lead to rare type of kidney disease. Researchers have been finding new functions for primary cilia ever since.

In the present study, researchers discovered that in mice, primary cilia act like antennae to receive and coordinate signals that spur creation of new brain cells. These cilia receive signals from a key protein required in development called “sonic hedgehog.” When the Yale team deleted genes needed to form primary cilia, they discovered that mice developed significant brain abnormalities including hydrocephalus. They also found that the absence of primary cilia on neural stem cells disrupted the ability of sonic hedgehog to signal neural stem cells to initiate creation of new neurons in the brain.

Furthermore, this group also observed cilia on dividing brain tumor cells. Postdoctoral fellow and co-first author Joshua Breunig said, “Considering sonic hedgehog is also heavily implicated in brain tumor formation, our study places the primary cilium at the crossroads of both regenerative neurobiology and neuro-oncology.”

Authors include: Jon Arellano, Yury Morozov, Albert Ayoub, Sonal Sojitra, Baolin Wang, Richard Flavell, Pasko Rakic (corresponding author) and Terrence Town

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Kavli Institute. The findings are published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science Aug. 11, 2008.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Tiny Cellular Antennae Trigger Neural Stem Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080822220056.htm>.
Yale University. (2008, August 25). Tiny Cellular Antennae Trigger Neural Stem Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080822220056.htm
Yale University. "Tiny Cellular Antennae Trigger Neural Stem Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080822220056.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy or Girl? Intersex Awareness Is on the Rise

Boy or Girl? Intersex Awareness Is on the Rise

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) At least 1 in 5,000 U.S. babies are born each year with intersex conditions _ ambiguous genitals because of genetic glitches or hormone problems. Secrecy and surgery are common. But some doctors and activists are trying to change things. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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