Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Investigating The Development Of Mechanosensitivity

Date:
May 28, 2009
Source:
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Summary:
Researchers have gained crucial insight into how mechanosensitivity arises. By measuring electrical impulses in the sensory neurons of mice, neurobiologists and pain researchers were able to directly elucidate, for the first time, the emergence of mechanosensitivity.

Researchers of the Max Delbrόck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany, have gained crucial insight into how mechanosensitivity arises. By measuring electrical impulses in the sensory neurons of mice, the neurobiologists and pain researchers Dr. Stefan G. Lechner and Professor Gary Lewin were able to directly elucidate, for the first time, the emergence of mechanosensitivity. At the same time they were able to show that neurons develop their sensitivity to touch and pain during different developmental phases but always coincidentally with the growth of the neuronal pathways.

The sensory neurons, which are sensitive to touch and pain, are located in the dorsal root ganglia between the intervertebral discs. The neurons receive the stimulus and convert it into electrical signals that are conveyed to the brain.

Signal transduction has been investigated very thoroughly, which has led to the development of drugs that block the transduction of pain signals to the brain. Very little, however, is known about how stimulus sensitivity actually emerges.

Using the patch-clamp technique in isolated cells of mouse embryos, the MDC researchers succeeded in measuring tiny electrical currents in the cell membranes after a mechanosensory stimulus.

"These measurements are extremely difficult," Dr. Lechner explained, "which is why only very few laboratories in the world are specialized in this area."

The researchers in Berlin-Buch were able to show that the sensory neurons in the mouse embryo have already fully developed their mechanosensitivity competence on embryonic day 13. That corresponds to about the end of the sixth month of pregnancy in humans.

For this development the neurons do not require any nerve growth factor, which is why the researchers suspect that this process is driven by a genetic program. In contrast, the competence to sense pain in the sensory neurons can only develop with the aid of nerve growth factor (NGF). It takes place at a later stage in embryonic development and even after birth.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lechner et al. Developmental waves of mechanosensitivity acquisition in sensory neuron subtypes during embryonic development. The EMBO Journal, 2009; 28 (10): 1479 DOI: 10.1038/emboj.2009.73

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Investigating The Development Of Mechanosensitivity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090522101924.htm>.
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. (2009, May 28). Investigating The Development Of Mechanosensitivity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090522101924.htm
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Investigating The Development Of Mechanosensitivity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090522101924.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) — Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) 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:
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