Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein build-up leads to neurons misfiring

Date:
July 18, 2012
Source:
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences
Summary:
Using a two-photon microscope capable of peering deep within living tissue, researchers have found new evidence that alpha-synuclein protein build-up inside neurons causes them to not only become “leaky,” but also to misfire due to calcium fluxes.

Using a two-photon microscope capable of peering deep within living tissue, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found new evidence that alpha-synuclein protein build-up inside neurons causes them to not only become "leaky," but also to misfire due to calcium fluxes.

The findings -- the first recorded in vivo using a transgenic mouse model of Parkinson's disease -- are published in the July 18 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience and provide new insights into how Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders known as synucleinopathies work and progress at the cellular level.

Previous in vitro studies using cell cultures had suggested abnormal accumulation of alpha-synuclein dysregulated intracellular handling and movement of calcium, which is used as a signaling molecule and neurotransmitter. It was unclear, however, whether calcium alterations occurred in more complex, living animals.

"This is the first time we've been able to verify the role of alpha-synuclein aggregates in vivo," said senior author Eliezer Masliah, MD, professor of neurosciences and pathology.

"The aggregates affect the cell membrane of neurons, making them more porous. They also affect the membranes of organelles inside neurons, such as the mitochondria that are part of the cell's machinery for generating energy. Energy is necessary to pump calcium in and out of the cell. If mitochondria membranes are compromised, calcium accumulates, further damaging the neuron and causing it to misfire."

Masliah said the new revelations, made using imaging technologies developed by first author Anna Devor, PhD, associate adjunct professor of neuroscience, may help scientists and doctors quantify and repair neuronal damage caused by alpha-synuclein accumulation.

"We have already started to utilize this discovery as a bio-marker and reporter of neuronal damage," said Masliah. "We have compounds developed in collaboration with others to 'plug' the holes in the neurons and mitochondria and prevent the abnormal calcium currents. We can monitor in real-time in live animals how our drugs revert the toxic effects of alpha-synuclein. This represents a unique and fast strategy to evaluate novel compounds."

Co-authors are Lidia Reznichenko, Qun Cheng, Krystal Nizar, Payam A. Saisan, Edward M. Rockenstein, Tanya Gonzalez, Christina Patrick, Brian Spencer and Paula Desplats, Department of Neurosciences, UCSD; Sergey L. Gratiy, Department of Radiology, UCSD; Anders M. Dale, departments of Neurosciences and Radiology, UCSD; Anna Devor, departments of Neurosciences and Radiology, UCSD; and Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Funding for this research came, in part, from the National Institute on Aging (grant AG-02270), The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (grants NS-051188, NS-057198 and NS-0507096), the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (grants EB-009118 and EB-000790) and the Short Family Fund.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lidia Reznichenko, Qun Cheng, Krystal Nizar, Sergey L. Gratiy, Payam A. Saisan, Edward M. Rockenstein, Tanya Gonzαlez, Christina Patrick, Brian Spencer, Paula Desplats, Anders M. Dale, Anna Devor, and Eliezer Masliah. In Vivo Alterations in Calcium Buffering Capacity in Transgenic Mouse Model of Synucleinopathy. Journal of Neuroscience, 2012; DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1270-12.2012

Cite This Page:

University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Protein build-up leads to neurons misfiring." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120718131321.htm>.
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. (2012, July 18). Protein build-up leads to neurons misfiring. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120718131321.htm
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Protein build-up leads to neurons misfiring." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120718131321.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) — The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) — Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) — Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama 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:
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