Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sugar residues regulate growth and survival of nerve cells

Date:
February 14, 2011
Source:
Ruhr-University Bochum
Summary:
Researchers have found out that certain sugar residues in the spinal cord regulate the growth and survival of nerve cells which control the movement of muscles.

The motoneurons from the spinal cord were cultivated on various substrates for five days. Nerve cells on substrates with chondroitin sulfate sugar residues (B-D) form longer processes than nerve cells on a substrate without sugar residues (A).
Credit: Copyright R. Conrad

Researchers in Bochum have found out that certain sugar residues in the spinal cord regulate the growth and survival of nerve cells which control the movement of muscles. "We hope that our findings can improve regenerative treatment of nerve injuries," explains Prof. Dr. Stefan Wiese from the Molecular Cell Biology study group (Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology).

Related Articles


The researchers report on these sugar residues in the environment of the cells, which is called the extracellular matrix, in the Journal of Neuroscience Research.

The vision of healing nerves

Brain and spinal cord comprise more than just nerve cells. The extracellular matrix, a complex scaffold of proteins with sugar residues, surrounds the cells and influences their well-being. Prof. Wiese's team is interested in the interaction of the matrix with a specific kind of nerve cells, which transmit signals from the brain to muscles (motoneurons). Because injured motoneurons lead to paralysis, clinicians have great interest in being able to influence the growth of these cells. "If we had a medication that could change the extracellular matrix so that it favours the growth and survival of nerve cells, that would be a large step in the treatment of nerve injuries after accidents or also for the treatment of diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis," says Prof. Wiese.

Growing muscle-controlling nerve cells

In cooperation with Prof. Dr. Andreas Faissner (Chair of Cell Morphology & Molecular Neurobiology, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology), Dr. Alice Klausmeyer from Prof. Wiese's team cultivated motoneurons from the spinal cord of mice on various kinds of extracellular matrix, from which the researchers experimentally removed certain sugar residues (chondroitin sulfates). By comparing the cell cultures with and without sugar residues, they were able to show that the residues control the growth and survival of the motoneurons.

Staining, counting and measuring

To express the growth of the cells in understandable figures, the cell biologists in Bochum measured the longest process of the motoneurons under a microscope and counted the number of processes which the cells had formed. With the help of the processes, the cells communicate and transmit signals across large distances. Some of the chondroitin sulfate sugar residues examined had a positive effect on the length and number of the processes, others had an inhibiting influence. The question of whether the growth of the nerve cells was supported or inhibited also depended on the kind of extracellular matrix with which a certain sugar residue was combined. Furthermore, the researchers stained for an enzyme in the motoneurons which is a marker for cell death. This analysis showed that the chondroitin sulfate sugar residues not only regulate the growth of the motoneurons, but can also lead to survival of these cells.

The experiments performed by Dr. Klausmeyer and her colleagues were supported, amongst other things, by the RUB Rector's Office programme for start-up funding of research projects of the next scientific generation.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Alice Klausmeyer, Rebecca Conrad, Andreas Faissner, Stefan Wiese. Influence of glial-derived matrix molecules, especially chondroitin sulfates, on neurite growth and survival of cultured mouse embryonic motoneurons. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 2011; 89 (2): 127 DOI: 10.1002/jnr.22531

Cite This Page:

Ruhr-University Bochum. "Sugar residues regulate growth and survival of nerve cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110211114319.htm>.
Ruhr-University Bochum. (2011, February 14). Sugar residues regulate growth and survival of nerve cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110211114319.htm
Ruhr-University Bochum. "Sugar residues regulate growth and survival of nerve cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110211114319.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Fish Species Discovered, Setting Record for World's Deepest

New Fish Species Discovered, Setting Record for World's Deepest

Buzz60 (Dec. 22, 2014) A new species of fish is discovered living five miles beneath the ocean surface, making it the deepest living fish on earth. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
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


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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