Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New source discovered for generation of nerve cells in brain

Date:
December 1, 2009
Source:
Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health
Summary:
Scientists have made a significant advance in understanding regeneration processes in the brain. The researchers discovered progenitor cells which can form new glutamatergic neurons following injury to the cerebral cortex.

New progenitor cells (red, green) in the brain of mouse.
Credit: Image courtesy of Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health

The research group of Professor Magdalena Götz of Helmholtz Zentrum München and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich has made a significant advance in understanding regeneration processes in the brain. The researchers discovered progenitor cells which can form new glutamatergic neurons following injury to the cerebral cortex. Particularly in Alzheimer's disease, nerve cell degeneration plays a crucial role. In the future, new therapeutic options may possibly be derived from steering the generation and/or migration mechanism.

Related Articles


These findings have been published in the current issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Until only a few years ago, neurogenesis -- the process of nerve cell development -- was considered to be impossible in the adult brain. The textbooks asserted that dead nerve cells could not be replaced. Then researchers discovered regions in the forebrain in humans in which new nerve cells can be generated throughout life. These so-called GABAergic cells use gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter of the central nervous system.

A research team of scientists led by Magdalena Götz, director of the Institute of Stem Cell Research at Helmholtz Zentrum München and chair of the Department of Physiological Genomics of LMU, has now taken a closer look at this brain region in the mouse model. Their findings: Even in the forebrain, there are other nerve cells that are regularly generated -- the so-called glutamatergic nerve cells, which use glutamate as neurotransmitter. The stem cell researchers could prove this by means of a specific transcription factor: Tbr2 is only present in progenitor cells of glutamatergic nerve cells.

The newly generated nerve cells in the adult organism are located in the olfactory bulb, the region of the brain involved in the sense of smell. Nerve cells that use glutamate as a neurotransmitter are also responsible for memory -- storing and retrieving information. In Alzheimer dementia, alterations in the signal transduction pathways of these special cells play a significant role.

Magdalena Götz explained the reason why this finding is so important: "Neural progenitor cells can generate these newly discovered glutamatergic nerve cells for the neighboring cerebral cortex -- for example after brain injury." The research group was able to demonstrate this on the mouse model: There the cells migrated into the damaged neighboring cerebrum tissue and generated mature neurons. Accordingly, progenitor cells could then replace degenerate nerve cells.

"Now it will be interesting to find out whether this process also takes place in humans, particularly in Alzheimer's patients," said Magdalena Götz, "and also whether the process can be kept under control to avoid massive cell death." One therapeutic approach would then be to attempt to stimulate the body's own replacement mechanism.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brill et al. Adult generation of glutamatergic olfactory bulb interneurons. Nature Neuroscience, 2009; 12 (12): 1524 DOI: 10.1038/nn.2416

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health. "New source discovered for generation of nerve cells in brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201100211.htm>.
Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health. (2009, December 1). New source discovered for generation of nerve cells in brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201100211.htm
Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health. "New source discovered for generation of nerve cells in brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201100211.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
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