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Neurons can use local stores for communication needs

Date:
May 26, 2014
Source:
Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
Neurons can utilize a supremely localized internal store of calcium to initiate the secretion of neuropeptides, one class of signaling molecules through which neurons communicate with each other and with other cells, researchers have shown. Neuropeptides are released from neurons through a process that—like other secretory events—is triggered primarily by the influx of calcium into the neuron through voltage-gated channels.
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The localization of ryanodine receptors (red) in an isolated nerve terminal from the posterior pituitary gland is depicted in this image.
Credit: McNally et al., 2014

Researchers reveal that neurons can utilize a supremely localized internal store of calcium to initiate the secretion of neuropeptides, one class of signaling molecules through which neurons communicate with each other and with other cells. The study appears in The Journal of General Physiology.

Neuropeptides are released from neurons through a process that -- like other secretory events -- is triggered primarily by the influx of calcium into the neuron through voltage-gated channels. Although neuropeptides are stored in large dense core vesicles (LDCVs) that also contain large amounts of calcium, it has been unclear whether these locally based calcium supplies can also be used to modulate secretion.

A team of researchers led by José Lemos from the University of Massachusetts Medical School examined the mechanisms at play during secretion of vasopressin from nerve terminals in the posterior pituitary gland, which releases the neuropeptide into the blood so that it can make its way to the kidney and regulate water retention. The researchers found that certain intracellular calcium channels known as ryanodine receptors are likely responsible for mobilizing calcium from LDCVs to facilitate vasopressin release. The findings indicate that neurons have a greater capacity than previously appreciated to fine-tune the release of neuropeptides and thereby their communications with other cells.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Rockefeller University Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. M. McNally, E. E. Custer, S. Ortiz-Miranda, D. J. Woodbury, S. D. Kraner, B. M. Salzberg, J. R. Lemos. Functional ryanodine receptors in the membranes of neurohypophysial secretory granules. The Journal of General Physiology, 2014; 143 (6): 693 DOI: 10.1085/jgp.201311110

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Rockefeller University Press. "Neurons can use local stores for communication needs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140526101843.htm>.
Rockefeller University Press. (2014, May 26). Neurons can use local stores for communication needs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140526101843.htm
Rockefeller University Press. "Neurons can use local stores for communication needs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140526101843.htm (accessed August 31, 2015).

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