April 15, 2007

Brain cells can grow extensions - Nature News

Nature News, Apr 11, 2007
"[UPI] -- U.S. scientists have discovered some mature brain cells can grow new extensions when the amount of three particular proteins on their surface increases. Ohio State University medical researchers studied the three related receptor proteins -- GPR3, GPR6 and GPR12 -- on nerve cells in the brains of rats.

When researchers increased the amount of the three proteins, the cells grew extensions that were up to three times longer than those on nerve cells with normal levels of the proteins. The extensions grew four to eight times faster than in control cells.

'Our findings suggest that these three proteins could be important targets for treating stroke, brain and spinal cord injuries and also neurodegenerative diseases,' said principal investigator Yoshinaga Saeki.

The study is published in the April 6 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry."

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