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 August 20, 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 August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Nancy Writebol, an American missionary who contracted Ebola, is apparently getting better, according to her husband. The outbreak, however, is not. 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