How do neurons store information about past events? In the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, a mechanism unknown previously of memory traces formation has been discovered. It appears that at least some events are remembered thanks to… geometry.
Neurons are the most important cells of the nervous system. Scientists from the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw have shown that during neuron stimulation permanent changes are observed with respect to genes’ arrangement within the cell nucleus. This discovery, reported in the “Journal of Neuroscience”, one of the most prestigious journals in the field of neurobiology, is significant for developing a better understanding of the processes going on in the mind and disorders of the nervous system, especially the brain.
“While conducting experiments on rats after epileptic seizures we have observed that a gene may permanently move deeper into the neuron’s cell nucleus. Since modification of the geometrical structure of the nucleus leads to changes in gene expression, this is how the neuron remembers, what happened”, explains Prof. Grzegorz Wilczyński from the Laboratory of Molecular and Systemic Neuromorphology at the Nencki Institute.