Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First Model Motor Nerve System That's Insulated And Organized Like Human Body

Date:
July 22, 2009
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Researchers report on the first lab-grown motor nerves that are insulated and organized just like they are in the human body. The model system will drastically improve understanding of the causes of myelin-related conditions, such as diabetic neuropathy and later, possibly multiple sclerosis.

Researchers from the University of Central Florida (UCF) report on the first lab-grown motor nerves that are insulated and organized just like they are in the human body. The model system will drastically improve understanding of the causes of myelin-related conditions, such as diabetic neuropathy and later, possibly multiple sclerosis (MS). In addition, the model system will enable the discovery and testing of new drug therapies for these conditions.

Related Articles


MS, diabetic neuropathy, and many conditions that are caused by a loss of myelin, which forms protective insulation around our nerves, can be debilitating and even deadly. Adequate treatments do not yet exist. Researchers at the UCF have identified this to be a result of a deficiency in model research systems.

James Hickman, a bioengineer at UCF and the lead researcher on this project explained: "The nodes of Ranvier act like power station relays along the myelin sheath. They chemically boost signals, allowing them to get across breaks in myelin, or from node to node, at the electrically charged nodes of Ranvier. Nerve malfunctions, called neuropathies, involve a breakdown in the way the brain sends and receives electric signals along nerve cells, leading to malfunctions at the nodes of Ranvier, along with demyelination". Hickman's team has now achieved the first successful model nodes of Ranvier formation on motor nerves in a defined serum-free culture system.

Researchers have long recognized the need for lab-grown motor nerve cells that myelinate and form nodes of Ranvier in order to use controlled lab conditions to zero in on the causes of demyelination. Yet, due to the complexity of the nervous system, it has been a challenge to study demyelinating neuropathies, and researchers have been confined to using animal models.

The main difference with this research was that Hickman's group began with a model that was serum-free. They had already developed techniques for growing various nervous system cells in serum-free media, including motoneurons, and here they attempted myelination using the growth medium they have worked with for many years.

In the body, nerve cells grow in two distinct environments: In the peripheral nervous system (PNS), cells are exposed to blood and other fluids that contain high concentrations of protein, among various other constituents, depending on where the cells are located in the body. In the central nervous system (CNS), the spinal cord and brain are surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid that contains only trace amounts of protein. This system now allows for both the PNS and CNS to be studied in the same defined system.

The UCF team plans to use their new model system to explore the origins of diabetic neuropathy. Once the causes of myelin degradation are identified, targets for new drug therapies can be tested with the model. Other planned experiments will focus on how electrical signals travel through myelinated and unmyelinated nerves to reveal how nerves malfunction as well as for spinal cord injury studies. "Being able to study these fully developed structures means we can really start looking at these things in a way that just wasn't possible before," commented Hickman.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Rumsey et al. Node of Ranvier formation on motoneurons in vitro. Biomaterials, 2009; 30 (21): 3567 DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2009.03.023

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "First Model Motor Nerve System That's Insulated And Organized Like Human Body." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090721091835.htm>.
Elsevier. (2009, July 22). First Model Motor Nerve System That's Insulated And Organized Like Human Body. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090721091835.htm
Elsevier. "First Model Motor Nerve System That's Insulated And Organized Like Human Body." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090721091835.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 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:

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