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.

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 July 25, 2014 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 July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. 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