Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neuroscientists decode crucial component in brain signal processing

Date:
March 26, 2011
Source:
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Summary:
A team of Neuroscientists from NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, have made a major breakthrough in understanding how signals are processed in the human brain.

A team of Neuroscientists from NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence at Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, have made a major breakthrough in understanding how signals are processed in the human brain.

The paper, published in the current issue of the scientific journal Neuron, shows that a certain type of protein -- the "vesicular glutamate transporter" (VGLUT) plays a crucial part in the strength regulation of synaptic connections. This regulation enables synapses to vary in strength.

Synapses transmit the communication between different neurons within the central nervous system and depending on their function in the brain, they operate differently. For example, the cerebral cortex bundles a vast amount of information and in order to process this, neurons need to dose or regulate the information. Neuroscientist Christian Rosenmund, who moved his lab from Baylor College of Medicine to Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin in 2009, has been focusing on the function of synapses for years.

"A neuron can be compared to a music enthusiast. He doesn´t hear the single sounds but the whole concert. Synapses are like single sounds. Some play louder, some play more quietly," he illustrates. But until now scientists did not know how they were regulated. However, a dysfunction of synapses can have a dramatic impact on signal processing in the brain and can lead to neurological diseases. The Rosenmund team has now made a major breakthrough and discovered the regulator for the volume of the nerve cells -- the protein endophilin. Its interaction with a certain variety of the glutamate transporter (VGLUT) plays the key role. The widely known 'housekeeping' function of these proteins is to fill vesicles with the neurotransmitter glutamate. That the transporter has a regulating function as well was a big surprise.

"We found a mechanism how the strength of synapses is controlled. The brain can adapt a synapse adequately to different brain functions. This insight can help us to understand a number of neurological diseases like epilepsy and even treat them," explains Rosenmund. In the future the scientists want to investigate further the pathopysiological relevance of glutamate transporters.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Matthew C. Weston, Ralf B. Nehring, Sonja M. Wojcik, Christian Rosenmund. Interplay between VGLUT Isoforms and Endophilin A1 Regulates Neurotransmitter Release and Short-Term Plasticity. Neuron, 2011; 69 (6): 1147 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.02.002

Cite This Page:

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. "Neuroscientists decode crucial component in brain signal processing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110325152152.htm>.
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. (2011, March 26). Neuroscientists decode crucial component in brain signal processing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110325152152.htm
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. "Neuroscientists decode crucial component in brain signal processing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110325152152.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
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