Welcome!

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Building custom add-ons does not need to be limited to the ideas you see on a marketplace. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sukhbir Dhillon, CEO and founder of Addteq, will go over some adventures they faced in developing integrations using Atlassian SDK and other technologies/platforms and how it has enabled development teams to experiment with newer paradigms like Serverless and newer features of Atlassian SDKs. In this presentation, you will be taken on a journey of Add-On and Integration ...
There are 66 million network cameras capturing terabytes of data. How did factories in Japan improve physical security at the facilities and improve employee productivity? Edge Computing reduces possible kilobytes of data collected per second to only a few kilobytes of data transmitted to the public cloud every day. Data is aggregated and analyzed close to sensors so only intelligent results need to be transmitted to the cloud. Non-essential data is recycled to optimize storage.
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Interoute has announced the integration of its Global Cloud Infrastructure platform with Rancher Labs’ container management platform, Rancher. This approach enables enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation and infrastructure investments. Matthew Finnie, Interoute CTO commented “Enterprises developing and building apps in the cloud and those on a path to Digital Transformation need Digital ICT Infrastructure that allows them to build, test and deploy faster than ever before. The int...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership abi...
The essence of cloud computing is that all consumable IT resources are delivered as services. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, demonstrated the concepts and implementations of two important cloud computing deliveries: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). He discussed from business and technical viewpoints what exactly they are, why we care, how they are different and in what ways, and the strategies for IT to transi...
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service.
Niagara Networks exhibited at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you ...
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Virtualization over the past years has become a key strategy for IT to acquire multi-tenancy, increase utilization, develop elasticity and improve security. And virtual machines (VMs) are quickly becoming a main vehicle for developing and deploying applications. The introduction of containers seems to be bringing another and perhaps overlapped solution for achieving the same above-mentioned benefits. Are a container and a virtual machine fundamentally the same or different? And how? Is one techn...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.