JNeurosci: Highlights from the Jan. 4 issue

January 04, 2017

Check out these newsworthy studies from the January 4, 2017, print issue of JNeurosci. Media interested in obtaining the full text of the studies should contact media@sfn.org.

Stress Blocks Anxiety-Relieving Neuropeptide in Mice

Neuropeptide Y is an innate signaling molecule in the brain that can produce anxiety-relieving effects. The molecule exerts its effects in the hippocampus -- an area of the brain important for learning and memory -- and studies indicate people with post-traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders may have less neuropeptide Y in their brains. In a new study in mice, researchers find neuropeptide Y reduces plasticity in an area of the hippocampus involved in formation of aversive memories. Stress blocks expression of neuropeptide Y, potentially enhancing anxiety.

Corresponding author: Lynn Dobrunz, dobrunz@uab.edu

Innate Neuropeptide May Act in Brain and Body to Cause Migraine Symptoms

A small neuropeptide facilitating communication between neurons is a key contributor to migraine development. But just where this peptide -- called calcitonin gene-related protein, or CGRP -- acts to spur migraines has remained a mystery: Some studies suggest it acts in the brain while others indicate only peripheral nerves -- those in the body that are outside of the spinal cord and brain -- are involved. In a new study in mice, researchers find both the brain and peripheral nerves are involved. Mice injected with CGRP in either the blood or directly in the brain showed aversion to light, a common migraine symptom.

Corresponding author: Andrew Russo, andrew-russo@uiowa.edu

An Atlas of Serotonin in the Human Brain

The neurotransmitter serotonin is found throughout the brain and is involved in myriad psychological functions like cognition, mood, sexual behavior, and the sleep-wake cycle. The network of neurons using serotonin to communicate are thought to be disrupted in mood disorders like depression and some neurodegenerative disorders. In a new study, researchers develop an atlas of serotonin receptors and transporters in the human brain, based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans from more than 200 human subjects. The atlas may be a valuable tool for future studies investigating the brain's serotonin system in health and disease.

Corresponding author: Gitte Knudsen, gmk@nru.dk
The Journal of Neuroscience is published by the Society for Neuroscience, an organization of nearly 38,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.

Society for Neuroscience

Related Neurons Articles from Brightsurf:

Paying attention to the neurons behind our alertness
The neurons of layer 6 - the deepest layer of the cortex - were examined by researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University to uncover how they react to sensory stimulation in different behavioral states.

Trying to listen to the signal from neurons
Toyohashi University of Technology has developed a coaxial cable-inspired needle-electrode.

A mechanical way to stimulate neurons
Magnetic nanodiscs can be activated by an external magnetic field, providing a research tool for studying neural responses.

Extraordinary regeneration of neurons in zebrafish
Biologists from the University of Bayreuth have discovered a uniquely rapid form of regeneration in injured neurons and their function in the central nervous system of zebrafish.

Dopamine neurons mull over your options
Researchers at the University of Tsukuba have found that dopamine neurons in the brain can represent the decision-making process when making economic choices.

Neurons thrive even when malnourished
When animal, insect or human embryos grow in a malnourished environment, their developing nervous systems get first pick of any available nutrients so that new neurons can be made.

The first 3D map of the heart's neurons
An interdisciplinary research team establishes a new technological pipeline to build a 3D map of the neurons in the heart, revealing foundational insight into their role in heart attacks and other cardiac conditions.

Mapping the neurons of the rat heart in 3D
A team of researchers has developed a virtual 3D heart, digitally showcasing the heart's unique network of neurons for the first time.

How to put neurons into cages
Football-shaped microscale cages have been created using special laser technologies.

A molecule that directs neurons
A research team coordinated by the University of Trento studied a mass of brain cells, the habenula, linked to disorders like autism, schizophrenia and depression.

Read More: Neurons News and Neurons Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.