News Feed Item

New Research by Wellesley Neuroscientist Shows Blood Cells Generate Neurons in Crayfish; Could Have Implications for Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders

WELLESLEY, Mass., Aug. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new study by Barbara Beltz, the Allene Lummis Russell Professor of Neuroscience at Wellesley College, and Irene Soderhall of Uppsala University, Sweden, published in the August 11 issue of the journal Developmental Cell, demonstrates that the immune system can produce cells with stem cell properties, using crayfish as a model system. These cells can, in turn, create neurons in the adult animal. The flexibility of immune cells in producing neurons in adult animals raises the possibility of the presence of similar types of plasticity in other animals.

"We have been suspicious for some time that the neuronal precursor cells (stem cells) in crayfish were coming from the immune system," Beltz wrote. "The paper contains multiple lines of evidence that support this conclusion, in addition to the experiments showing that blood cells transferred from a donor to a recipient animal generate neurons."

Beltz, whose research focuses on the production of new neurons in the adult nervous system, uses the crustacean brain as the model system because the generations of precursor cells are spatially segregated from one another. According to Beltz, this separation is crucial because it allowed the researchers to determine that the first generation precursors do not self-renew. For the Developmental Cell study, the cells of one crayfish were labeled and this animal's blood was used for transfusions into another crayfish. They found that the donor blood cells could generate neurons in the recipient.

In many adult organisms, including humans, neurons in some parts of the brain are continually replenished. While this process is critical for ongoing health, dysfunctions in the production of new neurons may also contribute to several neurological diseases, including clinical depression and some neurodegenerative disorders.

Beltz notes, of course, that it is difficult to extrapolate from crayfish to human disease. However, because of existing research suggesting that stem cells harvested from bone marrow also can become neural precursors and generate neurons, she says it is tempting to suggest that the mechanism proposed in crayfish may also be applicable in evolutionarily higher organisms, perhaps even in humans. 

Prior studies conducted in both humans and mice and published about a decade ago, showed that bone marrow recipients who had received a transplant from the opposite gender had neurons with the genetic signature of the opposite sex. The implication was that cells from the bone marrow generated those neurons. However, it is currently thought that neuronal stem cells in mammals, including humans, are self-renewing and therefore do not need to be replenished. Thus, these findings have not been interpreted as contributing to a natural physiological mechanism.

"Every experiment we did confirmed the close relationship between the immune system and adult neurogenesis," Beltz said. "Often when one is doing research, experiments can be fussy or give variable results. But for this work, once we started asking the right questions, the experiments worked first time and every time. The consistency and strength of the data are remarkable."

"Our findings in crayfish indicate that the immune system is intimately tied to mechanisms of adult neurogenesis, suggesting a much closer relationship between the immune system and nervous system than has been previously appreciated," said Soderhall. If further studies demonstrate a similar relationship between the immune system and brain in mammals, these findings would stimulate a new area of research into immune therapies to target neurological diseases.

Journal Reference: Jeanne L. Benton, Rachel Kery, Jingjing Li, Chadanat Noonin, Irene Soderhall, Barbara S. Beltz. "Cells from the Immune System Generate Adult-Born Neurons in Crayfish." Developmental Cell, 2014; 30 (3): 322 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2014.06.016

About Wellesley College

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been the preeminent liberal arts college for women. Known for its intellectual rigor and its remarkable track record for the cultivation of women leaders in every arena, Wellesley--only 12 miles from Boston--is home to some 2300 undergraduates from every state and 75 countries.

CONTACT: Anne Yu, 781-283-3201, [email protected]

This news release was issued on behalf of Newswise. For more information, visit http://www.newswise.com.

SOURCE Wellesley College

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Masters Technologies, a leader in Network Visibility and Uptime Solutions, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Masters Technologies is a leading vendor in the network monitoring and high speed networking markets. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Interface Masters' expertise lies in Gigabit, 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Eth...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue an...
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and microservices. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your conta...
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his session at @DevOpsSummit 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will show how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that enables everyon...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Streamlyzer will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Streamlyzer is a powerful analytics for video streaming service that enables video streaming providers to monitor and analyze QoE (Quality-of-Experience) from end-user devices in real time.
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
DevOps theory promotes a culture of continuous improvement built on collaboration, empowerment, systems thinking, and feedback loops. But how do you collaborate effectively across the traditional silos? How can you make decisions without system-wide visibility? How can you see the whole system when it is spread across teams and locations? How do you close feedback loops across teams and activities delivering complex multi-tier, cloud, container, serverless, and/or API-based services?
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.