On August 8, Tohoku University, Hiroyuki Ueguchi, Team Leader, Neurogrowth Mechanism Research Team, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Yoshio Hirabayashi, Team Leader, Neuromembranous Function Research Team, Atsushi Aoki, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tohoku University A collaborative research group consisting of Professor Asuka Inoue and Professor Kunihiro Ota of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo has announced that they have discovered a new lipid that separates nerve processes that convey different types of sensations.The research results clarified the new principle that "lipids control the construction of neural circuits" and were published in "Science" (August 28 issue).

Neurites that convey sensations such as pain are connected to the brain via the spinal cord.Neurites that convey different types of sensations, such as pain and proprioception (feeling the position and movement of one's joints), project (connect) to different parts of the cerebrospinal cord.At the stage where the neural circuit of the cerebrospinal cord is created, the neurites responsible for pain and proprioception reach the spinal cord through the same route, but immediately after entering the spinal cord, these neurites are separated and their destinations. You will be guided to.However, no protein that separates these neurites has been found.

Therefore, it was hypothesized that this separation is controlled by lipids.Since it is difficult to analyze lipids in detail in modern medical biology, researchers from different fields such as synthetic organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and immunology have collaborated to set up a joint research group.The group's work discovered a new lipid that exists only in specific areas of the proprioceptive neurites, which repel the painful neurites so that both neurites do not mix. It turned out to project to the destination.G protein-coupled receptors that sense this lipid have also been identified. G protein-coupled receptors are proteins that penetrate the cell membrane, receive various extracellular factors, and transmit signals into the cell, and are involved in many diseases.

It is expected that this research will advance the development of repair technology for damaged neural circuits.In addition, the development of new research fields in brain science may be promoted by collaborating with other fields as in the same research.

Source:[Tohoku University] Discovering lipids that control neural circuit construction-Inducing neurites that convey different types of sensations with lipids-

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