Medindia

X

Researchers Explain How Neurons Get Wired

by Rukmani Krishna on  August 17, 2013 at 12:12 AM Research News   - G J E 4
An unknown mechanism that establishes polarity in developing nerve cells was discovered by the University of Arizona scientists. Understanding how nerve cells make connections is an important step in developing cures for nerve damage resulting from spinal cord injuries or neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.
 Researchers Explain How Neurons Get Wired
Researchers Explain How Neurons Get Wired
Advertisement

In a study published on Aug. 12 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, UA doctoral student Sara Parker and her adviser, assistant professor of cellular and molecular medicine Sourav Ghosh, report that the decision which will be the "plus" and the "minus" end in a newborn nerve cell is made by a long and a short version of the same signaling molecule.

Advertisement
Nerve cells - or neurons - differ from many other cells by their highly asymmetric shape: Vaguely resembling a tree, a neuron has one long, trunk-like extension ending in a tuft of root-like bristles. This is called the axon. From the opposite end of the cell body sprout branch-like structures known as dendrites. By connecting the "branches" of their dendrites to the "root tips" of other neurons' axons, nerve cells form networks, which can be as simple as the few connections involved in the knee-jerk reflex or as complex as those in the human brain.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

Advertisement
View All