The brain is one of the most mysterious of human organs. And not so long ago he once again managed to surprise the researchers because a group of biologists from Hungary and the United States in the framework of the joint research found in the cerebral cortex a new type of neurons, the existence of which had not even suspected.
According to the editors of the journal Nature Neuroscience, are responsible for the discovery, researchers from University of Szeged and the Institute of Allen. A new type of neurons has been called rosehip cells (hips cells) due to the resemblance of the same plant. Discovered neurons was during the study of the cerebral cortex of the human brain. In the process of sequencing RNA, the scientists were able to detect a new type of interneurons, a key role in which plays a GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the Central nervous system and is formed by both endogenous and can come from outside, including in the composition of medicines. GABA is involved in metabolic processes in the brain contributes to glucose utilization and removal from the brain of toxic metabolic products. In addition, it positively affects the processes of memory, and restores the circulation after its violation (e.g., after stroke).
Feature of the new cells is not only their unusual form, but also the interaction with other cell types. Rosehip cells in contact mainly only with pyramidal neurons, which are responsible for arousal. According to lead study author Dr. Gabor Tamas,
“If you imagine that neurons are the system of car control, rosehip cells are the brakes that stop the car in a special place. In other words, this type of cells is able to exert inhibitory effects on those parts of the brain, to which other neurons to act not. This rosehip cells we found so far only in humans, because they have a sort of “genetic signature” inherent to our species. In rodents such entities we detect are unable. But it is possible that these cells can be found in primates.”
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