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Link between signaling molecules could point way to therapies for epilepsy, stroke, other diseases

Date:
January 10, 2011
Source:
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Summary:
The finding that two molecules communicate to regulate electrical and chemical activity in nerve cells could be a passport to novel therapies for epilepsy and other diseases.

In the Old West, camps sent smoke signals across distances to share key developments or strategy. Likewise, two important signaling molecules communicate across nerve cells to regulate electrical and chemical activity, neuroscientists from the UT Health Science Center San Antonio have reported.

The findings in rodent models have implications for potential future treatment of epilepsy, stroke and other problems, the researchers said.

"We now have novel targets for therapeutic intervention for a range of neurological and cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, epilepsy, dementia, hypertension, mental illness and others," said senior author Mark S. Shapiro, Ph.D., professor of physiology at the Health Science Center. "This study should guide clinicians and pharmaceutical companies in developing new therapies against mental, neurological, cardiovascular or cerebrovascular diseases that afflict many millions of people."

By isolating nerve cells from rats, the San Antonio team found a relationship between signaling enzymes called phosphoinositide kinases and calcium ions. Calcium transport and levels of calcium concentrations inside nerve cells are extremely important for proper neurobiological function, Dr. Shapiro said.

In epilepsy, for example, it is thought that the hyper-excitability in the brain causes abnormal elevations of intracellular calcium ions, which is extremely toxic. Thus, epileptic seizures often predispose people to additional seizures, as the normal regulation of brain activity increasingly breaks down.

The study is in the Jan. 7 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. O. Zaika, J. Zhang, M. S. Shapiro. Combined Phosphoinositide and Ca2 Signals Mediating Receptor Specificity toward Neuronal Ca2 Channels. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2010; 286 (1): 830 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.166033

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Link between signaling molecules could point way to therapies for epilepsy, stroke, other diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110107195915.htm>.
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. (2011, January 10). Link between signaling molecules could point way to therapies for epilepsy, stroke, other diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110107195915.htm
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Link between signaling molecules could point way to therapies for epilepsy, stroke, other diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110107195915.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

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