Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Zebrafish reveals central regulator for development of brain's histamine system

Date:
February 5, 2013
Source:
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki)
Summary:
Researchers in Finland have shown in a study conducted on zebrafish, that the presenilin-1 (psen1) gene associated with Alzheimer’s disease functions as a central regulator for the development of the histamine system. Histamine system is also altered in patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers at University of Helsinki, Finland, have shown in a study conducted on zebrafish, that the presenilin-1 (psen1) gene associated with Alzheimer's disease functions as a central regulator for the development of the histamine system. Histamine system is also altered in patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Research has shown that mutations in the psen1 gene are common in the familial forms of Alzheimer's disease, and the Presenilin-1 protein that the gene encodes is known to be involved in the cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein. In Alzheimer's disease the amyloid precursor protein is not cleaved the normal way, and the protein accumulates in the brain damaging neuronal tracts and neurons. It is still unknown if the psen1 gene is involved in the etiology of Alzheimer's disease via another mechanism.

Professor Pertti Panula's research team at the University of Helsinki has elucidated the role of psen1 gene in the development of the neuronal histamine system and its modulation. Histamine is one of the neurotransmitters, which all are essential for cognitive functions, which in turn are impaired in Alzheimer's disease. The histamine system is altered during the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

In the study the zebrafish was used as a model organism. The rapidly developing zebrafish is suitable as a model organism, as its transparency allows researchers to study the development and function of vital organs. To study the function of psen1 gene, zebrafish that did not produce functional Presenilin-1 protein were generated. Despite the fact that the fish lacked functional Presenilin-1 they were viable and developed until adulthood.

The lack of Presenilin-1 protein induced a change in the behavior of the larval zebrafish, they did not as normal fish react to fast changes in the light intensity. "Based on previous research we know that this change in behavior is associated with lack of histamine in the brain," Panula explains.

In adulthood the motor behavior of the mutant zebrafish differed from the normal fish: the fish swam by the edges of the arena that was available and avoided the inner part. Previous studies from the group have shown that this behavioral alteration also is due to changes in the histamine system.

The researchers found that larval fish lacking Presenilin-1 protein had significantly fewer histamine neurons; in adulthood the histamine neuron number was significantly increased in these fish when compared with normal fish.

"These results reveal that the psen1 gene is a central regulator of the development of the histamine neurons and that the mutation can cause a persistent lifelong change in the neuronal histamine system. This is a very interesting finding," Panula states.

One interesting remaining question is from where the new histamine neurons arise in the brains of adult zebrafish. Are they newly differentiated stem cells or do other cells become histamine neurons? The answer is not known, but based on these results it is advisable to elucidate the role of Presenilin-1 protein in differentiation of stem cells also in the brains of mammals. "Mammals have stem cells in the hypothalamus, in the same area where the histamine neurons are located in all studied vertebrates," Panula comments.

Panula empathizes that the published study does not tell about an Alzheimer's disease mechanism in humans. The new knowledge on the function of psen1 gene and the development of the brain histamine system provided by the study is one step forward to understanding the etiology of the disease.

"We perform basic research on molecular level, from where it is a long way to treatment of human diseases. This type of research provides the findings on which the treatments are finally based," Panula says.

The Journal of Neuroscience published the study that was conducted at University of Helsinki Neuroscience center, and Institute of Biomedicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Maria Sundvik, Yu-Chia Chen, and Pertti Panula. Presenilin1 Regulates Histamine Neuron Development and Behavior in Zebrafish, Danio rerio. Journal of Neuroscience, 2013; 33 (4): 1589-1597 DOI: 10.1523/%u200BJNEUROSCI.1802-12.2013

Cite This Page:

Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). "Zebrafish reveals central regulator for development of brain's histamine system." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205101409.htm>.
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). (2013, February 5). Zebrafish reveals central regulator for development of brain's histamine system. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205101409.htm
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). "Zebrafish reveals central regulator for development of brain's histamine system." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205101409.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) 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