Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dysfunction in cerebellar calcium channel causes motor disorders and epilepsy

Date:
March 21, 2013
Source:
Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum
Summary:
A dysfunction of a certain calcium channel, the so called P/Q-type channel, in neurons of the cerebellum is sufficient to cause different motor diseases as well as a special type of epilepsy.

A dysfunction of a certain Calcium channel, the so called P/Q-type channel, in neurons of the cerebellum is sufficient to cause different motor diseases as well as a special type of epilepsy. This is reported by the research team of Dr. Melanie Mark and Prof. Dr. Stefan Herlitze from the Ruhr-Universitδt Bochum. They investigated mice that lacked the ion channel of the P/Q-type in the modulatory input neurons of the cerebellum. "We expect that our results will contribute to the development of treatments for in particular children and young adults suffering from absence epilepsy," Melanie Mark says.

The research team from the Department of General Zoology and Neurobiology reports in the Journal of Neuroscience.

P/Q-type channel defects cause a range of diseases

"One of the main challenging questions in neurobiology related to brain disease is in which neuronal circuit or cell-type the diseases originate," Melanie Mark says. The Bochum researchers aimed at answering this question for certain motor disorders that are caused by cerebellar dysfunction. More specifically, they investigated potential causes of motor incoordination, also known as ataxia, and motor seizures, i.e., dyskinesia. In a previous study in 2011, the researchers showed that a certain Calcium channel type, called P/Q-type channel, in cerebellar neurons can be the origin of the diseases. The channel is expressed throughout the brain, and mutations in this channel cause migraines, different forms of epilepsy, dyskinesia, and ataxia in humans.

Disturbing cerebellar output is sufficient to cause different diseases

"Surprisingly, we found in 2011 that the loss of P/Q-type channels, specifically in the sole output pathway of the cerebellar cortex, the Purkinje cells, not only leads to ataxia and dyskinesia, but also to a disease often occurring in children and young adults, absence epilepsy," Dr. Mark says. The research team thus hypothesized that disturbing the output signals of the cerebellum is sufficient to cause the major disease phenotypes associated with the P/Q-type channel. In other words, P/Q-type channel mutations in the cerebellum alone can elicit a range of diseases, even when the same channels in other brain regions are intact.

Disturbing the input to the cerebellum has similar effects as disturbing the output

Mark's team has now found further evidence for this hypothesis. In the present study, the biologists did not disturb the output signals, i.e., the Purkinje cells, directly, but rather the input to these cells. The Purkinje cells are modulated by signals from other neurons, amongst others from the granule cells. "This modulatory input to the Purkinje cells is important for the proper communication between neurons in the cerebellum," Melanie Mark explains. In mice, the researchers disturbed the input signals by genetically altering the granule cells so that they did not express the P/Q-type channel. Like disturbing the cerebellar output in the 2011 study, this manipulation resulted in ataxia, dyskinesia, and absence epilepsy. "The results provide additional evidence that the cerebellum is involved in initiating and/or propagating neurological deficits," Mark sums up. "They also provide an animal model for identifying the specific pathways and molecules in the cerebellum responsible for causing these human diseases."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. T. Maejima, P. Wollenweber, L. U. C. Teusner, J. L. Noebels, S. Herlitze, M. D. Mark. Postnatal Loss of P/Q-Type Channels Confined to Rhombic-Lip-Derived Neurons Alters Synaptic Transmission at the Parallel Fiber to Purkinje Cell Synapse and Replicates Genomic Cacna1a Mutation Phenotype of Ataxia and Seizures in Mice. Journal of Neuroscience, 2013; 33 (12): 5162 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5442-12.2013

Cite This Page:

Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum. "Dysfunction in cerebellar calcium channel causes motor disorders and epilepsy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130321082309.htm>.
Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum. (2013, March 21). Dysfunction in cerebellar calcium channel causes motor disorders and epilepsy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130321082309.htm
Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum. "Dysfunction in cerebellar calcium channel causes motor disorders and epilepsy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130321082309.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A CDC report says birth rates among teenagers have been declining for decades, reaching a new low in 2013. We look at several popular explanations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Antibiotic Could Lead To Heart-Related Death

Common Antibiotic Could Lead To Heart-Related Death

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — Danish researchers discovered patients taking clarithromycin have an increased risk of dying from a heart-related issue. Video provided by Newsy
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