A new form of AstrocyteNeuron communication has been identified

A new form of AstrocyteNeuron communication has been identified ...

Researchers at Tufts University have discovered a previously unknown function by a type of cell that comprises about half of all cells in the brain.

This discovery of a new mechanism by astrocytes in mice has paved the way for neuroscience research, which might one day lead to treatment for many ailments, from epilepsy to Alzheimers to traumatic brain injury.

It boils to how astrocytes interact with neurons, which are fundamental cells of the brain and nervous system that receive input from the outside world. Through a wide spectrum of electrical and chemical signals, neurons collect information between different levels of the brain and between the brain and the rest of the nervous system.

As a result, scientists believe astrocytes are important, but they have lesser cast members in this activity. Astrocytes are the long-slender representation of a neuron that conducts electrical impulses. They are also responsible for neurotransmitters, chemicals that facilitate the transfer of electrical signals throughout the brain and nervous system. In addition, astrocytes strengthen the blood-brain barrier and respond to injury.

They seemed to be non-innovative like the most essential neurons until today.

According toChris Dulla, an associate professor of neuroscience at the School of Medicine and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and a third author on a paper todaybyNature Neuroscience. We have discovered a new technique that two of the most important brain cells talk to each other. Because there is so much uncertainty about how the brain works, finding new fundamental mechanisms is vital to developing novel treatments for neurological diseases."

Saptarnab Naskar, Mary Sommer, Elliot Kim, and Philip G. Haydon, among the authors of Tufts University School of Medicine, Jacqueline P. Garcia from theCell, Molecular and Developmental Biology program at TuftsGraduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and researchers from other institutions.

We have discovered a new way that two of the most important cells in the brain talk to each other. Because there is so much unknown about how the brain works, then we are able to begin developing innovative treatments for neurological diseases.

Chris Dulla is the subject of a series of interviews.

Associate Professor of Neuroscience, School of Medicine, and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

The team used brand-new technology to develop a technique that permits them to see and investigate the electrical properties of brain cell interactions, which could not be observed previously.

"With these new tools, we''ve essentially discovered completely new parts of biology," says Armbruster, a research assistant professor at the School of Medicine. As improved tools come along, new fluorescent sensors will be constantly applied, giving us a better understanding of what we''ve never experienced previously.

Dulla advises that the new technology captures electrical activity with light. Neurons are very electrically active, and the new technology allows us to see that astrocytes are also electrically active.

Dulla describes astrocytes as making sure everything is copacetic in the brain, and if something goes wrong, they detect it, try to respond, and then try to protect the brain from insult. Next, we will investigate how astrocytes affect when insults occur.

astrocytes are responsible for the release of substances called neurotransmitters, which can help them stay healthy and active. However, the study reveals that neurons also release potassium ions, which affect the electrical behavior of the astrocyte and how it controls the neurotransmitters.

So the neuron is controlling what the astrocyte is doing, and they are communicating back and forth. Neurons and astrocytes communicate in a way that hasn''t been known before.

The Impact on Future Research

The discovery of astrocyte-neuron crosstalk raises numerous questions about how the interactions affect brain pathology and learning and memory. It helps us rethink everything astrocytes do, and how the fact that astrocytes are electrically active may be influencing a wide spectrum of neurological diseases, according to a spokesman.

astrocytes do not control neurotransmitters, even if that is their primary function, Dulla declares. Similar problems occur with traumatic brain injury and epilepsy. For years, scientists believe the problem is either a protein being absent or a mutation that causes a protein to fail.

According to Armbruster, a build-up of extracellular potassium in the brain has been proposed to help with epilepsy and migraine pathologies. This new study demonstrates how astrocytes curtail this build-up and aid in maintaining a healthy flow.

Researchers are now testing existing drugs to see if they can manipulate the neuron-astrocyte interactions. Can one day, do we aspirations to assist people learn faster or better? Can we repair a brain injury when it occurs? Dulla asks.

The technology used to facilitate this discovery not only opens up new ways to think about astrocyte activity, but also provides new approaches for imaging activity through the brain. Before today, there was no way to imagine potassium activity in the brain, for example, or investigate how potassium is involved in sleep, metabolism, or injury and infection in the brain.

he says that while scientists are getting the tools to study headaches, breathing, developmental disorders, and a wide spectrum of different neurological problems, we are offering these tools to other labs.

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