Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Elusive neuronal targets of deep brain stimulation identified

Date:
December 14, 2010
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
Deep brain stimulation of a brain area that controls complex behaviors has proven to be effective against several therapeutically stubborn neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. Now, a new study has found that this technique targets the same class of neuronal cells that are known to respond to physical exercise and drugs such as Prozac.

Deep brain stimulation of the anterior thalamic nucleus in the mouse brain results in an increase in the number of new neurons due to an increase in cell division in the mouse hippocampus, specifically among neural stem (green) and progenitor cells (pink).
Credit: Grigori Enikolopov@CSHL

Shooting steady pulses of electricity through slender electrodes into a brain area that controls complex behaviors has proven to be effective against several therapeutically stubborn neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. Now, a new study has found that this technique, called deep brain stimulation (DBS), targets the same class of neuronal cells that are known to respond to physical exercise and drugs such as Prozac.

The study, led by Associate Professor Grigori Enikolopov, Ph.D., of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), is the cover story in the January 1st issue of The Journal of Comparative Neurology.

The targeted neuronal cells, which increase in number in response to DBS, are a type of precursor cell that ultimately matures into adult neurons in the brain's hippocampus, the control center for spatial and long-term memory, emotion, behavior and other functions that go awry in diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, epilepsy and depression. DBS has been successful in treating some cases of Parkinson's. And recently, it has also proven to work against other brain disorders such as epilepsy and severe depression.

"But the clinical application of DBS to treat neuropsychiatric disorders is still problematic because there isn't a clear rationale or a guide for which brain regions need to be stimulated to achieve maximum therapeutic benefit," says Enikolopov. "Our study now points to the brain region whose stimulation results in new cell growth in the hippocampus, an area that is implicated in many behavioral and cognitive disorders."

Enikolopov has long been interested in understanding how neuronal and neuroendocrine circuits are involved in mood regulation. "To that end, the question we've been asking is whether different types of stimuli, such as exercise or drugs or DBS, target different types of brain cells and circuits or converge on the same targets," he explains.

"There is a well-established correlation between the use of antidepressants and new neuronal growth in the hippocampus," says Enikolopov. "But what we didn't know was which steps in the cascade of events that eventually leads to the birth of new neurons are actually affected." Brain stem cells eventually differentiate into mature neurons following a cascade of steps, each of which produces a different intermediary cell type or precursor.

To identify the specific cell type affected by DBS, the CSHL team developed mouse models in which different classes of neural cells such as stem and progenitor cells produce different fluorescent colors. This enabled the scientists to visually track these cell populations and quantitatively assess how they change in response to neuronal triggers such as DBS.

To examine the effect of DBS on the hippocampus, Enikolopov teamed up with Andres Lozano, M.D., a leading Canadian neurosurgeon who pioneered its use against depression. The scientists found that stimulating the anterior thalamic nucleus -- an area in the mouse brain that is equivalent to a human brain area where DBS is often therapeutically applied -- resulted in an increase in cell division among the neural stem and progenitor cells, which in turn manifested as an increase in the number of new adult neurons in the hippocampus.

"By tracking new cell growth in the hippocampus and using it as a sensitive readout, we could potentially pinpoint other brain sites at which therapeutic DBS or other stimuli such as drugs might work best for various neurological and psychiatric conditions," explains Enikolopov.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Juan M. Encinas, Clement Hamani, Andres M. Lozano, Grigori Enikolopov. Neurogenic hippocampal targets of deep brain stimulation. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 2011; 519 (1): 6 DOI: 10.1002/cne.22503

Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Elusive neuronal targets of deep brain stimulation identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101214142745.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2010, December 14). Elusive neuronal targets of deep brain stimulation identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101214142745.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Elusive neuronal targets of deep brain stimulation identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101214142745.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. 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