Neuroscience

Articles and news from the latest research reports.

102 notes

Microglia controls neuron production as brain develops
In a surprise breakthrough, researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute and their colleagues have found that microglia remove healthy neural progenitor cells (NPCs) through phagocytosis to control neuron production during brain development. This newly discovered mechanism keeps neuron numbers in check, preventing brain overgrowth.
The discovery could open up new avenues for brain research and lead to therapies for a variety of neurological conditions.
The study was published online in the The Journal of Neuroscience.
Microglia are the immune component cell of the central nervous system. Similar to macrophages, microglia provide the brain’s primary defense against pathogens and foreign bodies, clear away dying cells and help repair neural damage. When inactive, they act as sentinels. When a problem is located, they activate and eliminate it. However, until recently, no one had realized the important roles they play in brain development.
"We have known for some time that neurons can undergo apoptosis, a form of cell death, and ultimately be removed by microglia," said Stephen Noctor, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the study’s lead author. "But this is new. Microglia are actually eating healthy progenitor cells, thereby regulating the number of neurons produced in the developing brain."
During development, NPCs produce neurons in the brain’s proliferative zones. However, creating too many or too few neurons can have dire consequences.
"If you have too many cells, there’s only so much trophic support (brain infrastructure for cell growth and survival) to keep neurons alive," Noctor said. "All these cells competing for resources could easily throw off connectional properties, altering the way surviving neurons interact. Likewise, having too few cortical cells would have profoundly negative consequences."
(Image: Antoine Triller, Alain Bessis & Serge Marty - Département de Biologie, ENS)

Microglia controls neuron production as brain develops

In a surprise breakthrough, researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute and their colleagues have found that microglia remove healthy neural progenitor cells (NPCs) through phagocytosis to control neuron production during brain development. This newly discovered mechanism keeps neuron numbers in check, preventing brain overgrowth.

The discovery could open up new avenues for brain research and lead to therapies for a variety of neurological conditions.

The study was published online in the The Journal of Neuroscience.

Microglia are the immune component cell of the central nervous system. Similar to macrophages, microglia provide the brain’s primary defense against pathogens and foreign bodies, clear away dying cells and help repair neural damage. When inactive, they act as sentinels. When a problem is located, they activate and eliminate it. However, until recently, no one had realized the important roles they play in brain development.

"We have known for some time that neurons can undergo apoptosis, a form of cell death, and ultimately be removed by microglia," said Stephen Noctor, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the study’s lead author. "But this is new. Microglia are actually eating healthy progenitor cells, thereby regulating the number of neurons produced in the developing brain."

During development, NPCs produce neurons in the brain’s proliferative zones. However, creating too many or too few neurons can have dire consequences.

"If you have too many cells, there’s only so much trophic support (brain infrastructure for cell growth and survival) to keep neurons alive," Noctor said. "All these cells competing for resources could easily throw off connectional properties, altering the way surviving neurons interact. Likewise, having too few cortical cells would have profoundly negative consequences."

(Image: Antoine Triller, Alain Bessis & Serge Marty - D├ępartement de Biologie, ENS)

Filed under brain development progenitor cells cell death phagocytosis microglia cells CNS neuroscience science

  1. mechanism reblogged this from electricalascension
  2. eine-liebe-liebevolle-elfe reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  3. knowledge-yay reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  4. thebiobabe reblogged this from neurosciencestuff and added:
    nom nom I love neuroscience
  5. alec-c-c-combo-breaker reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  6. alittletooobvious reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  7. smallwombat reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  8. clarissasauter reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  9. dermoosealini reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  10. legsjet reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  11. electricalascension reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  12. h8upr0bs reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  13. thepursuitofselfactualization reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  14. silhouettedwillows reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  15. justmeyaknow reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  16. aahvaaaina reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  17. cassief reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  18. infopunkie reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  19. idlnmclean reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  20. thecdstimes reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  21. sirlowkey reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
  22. grumpimus-prime reblogged this from neurosciencestuff
free counters