Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

In the brain, broken down 'motors' cause anxiety

Date:
February 7, 2013
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
When motors break down, getting where you want to go becomes a struggle. Problems arise in much the same way for critical brain receptors when the molecular motors they depend on fail to operate. Now, researchers have shown these broken motors induce stress and anxiety in mice. The discovery may point the way to new kinds of drugs to treat anxiety and other disorders.

WT on top, KO on bottom. This image shows the transport defect of the serotonin receptor in a KIF13A knock out neuron compared with a wild type neuron.
Credit: Cell Reports, Zhou et al.

When motors break down, getting where you want to go becomes a struggle. Problems arise in much the same way for critical brain receptors when the molecular motors they depend on fail to operate. Now, researchers reporting in Cell Reports, a Cell Press publication, on February 7, have shown these broken motors induce stress and anxiety in mice. The discovery may point the way to new kinds of drugs to treat anxiety and other disorders.

The study in mice focuses on one motor in particular, known as KIF13A, which, according to the new evidence, is responsible for ferrying serotonin receptors. Without proper transportation, those receptors fail to reach the surface of neurons and, as a result, animals show signs of heightened anxiety.

In addition to their implications for understanding anxiety, the findings also suggest that defective molecular motors may be a more common and underappreciated cause of disease.

"Most proteins are transported in vesicles or as protein complexes by molecular motors," said Nobutaka Hirokawa of the University of Tokyo. "As shown in this study, defective motors could cause many diseases."

Scientists know that serotonin and serotonin receptors are involved in anxiety, aggression, and mood. But not much is known about how those players get around within cells. When Hirokawa's team discovered KIF13A at high levels in the brain, they wondered what it did.

The researchers discovered that mice lacking KIF13A show greater anxiety in both open-field and maze tests and suggest that this anxious behavior may stem from an underlying loss of serotonin receptor transport, which leads to a lower level of expression of those receptors in critical parts of the brain.

"Collectively, our results suggest a role for this molecular motor in anxiety control," the researchers wrote. Hirokawa says the search should now be on for anti-anxiety drug candidates aimed at restoring the brain's serotonin receptor transport service.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ruyun Zhou, Shinsuke Niwa, Laurent Guillaud, Ying Tong, Nobutaka Hirokawa. A Molecular Motor, KIF13A, Controls Anxiety by Transporting the Serotonin Type 1A Receptor. Cell Reports, 07 February 2013 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.01.014

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "In the brain, broken down 'motors' cause anxiety." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207131558.htm>.
Cell Press. (2013, February 7). In the brain, broken down 'motors' cause anxiety. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207131558.htm
Cell Press. "In the brain, broken down 'motors' cause anxiety." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207131558.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
App Fights Jet Lag With The Power Of Math

App Fights Jet Lag With The Power Of Math

Newsy (Apr. 13, 2014) Researchers at the University of Michigan have designed an app to fight jet lag by adjusting your body's light intake. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treatment Gaps Endangering Cops, Mentally Ill

Treatment Gaps Endangering Cops, Mentally Ill

AP (Apr. 10, 2014) As states slash funding for mental health services, police officers are interacting more than ever with people suffering from schizophrenia and other serious disorders of the mind. The consequences can be deadly. (April 10) 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:
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