Speed ​​limits is also available in the cell

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Speed ​​limits is also available in the cell

Carbon monoxide inhibits traffic chaos in cell migration

Carbon monoxide is known primarily as an air pollutant. But in the body of humans and animals, it is aimed at not only damages but also takes over control functions like now have shown researchers from Hannover. They were able to prove in a study that carbon monoxide the mobility of nerve cells regulated - at least for African locusts.

Speed ​​limits is also available in the cell


Neuronal cell migration in the insect gut

© University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover

Through its investigations the enteric nervous system of animals report Sabine Knipp and Professor Gerd Bicker from the cell biology of the University of Veterinary Medicine (TiHo) Hannover in the latest issue of the magazine "Development".

New insights into cell migration

The nervous system of the intestine locust develops in large part similar to vertebrates, but it's easier built and therefore easier to manipulate. It therefore provides an excellent study model.

Knipp and Bicker have focused their studies on midgut neurons. They arise in the foregut and wander in a characteristic pattern in a kind of neuron-column on the outermost layer of the intestine Commercial to their final place of action, the midgut.

If the enzyme is blocked, which ensures that carbon monoxide is released, the rate of cell migration increases significantly. Conversely, the movement of nerve cells by the artificial addition of carbon monoxide was significantly slowed down, the researchers said.

Speed ​​limits is also available in the cell


Locusts embryos in tissue culture

© University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover

Zell Internal Traffic Management System

The results of this study suggest, in their view, that the gaseous carbon monoxide is as a kind of cell-internal traffic management system capable of braking the nerve cells. So maybe a disintegration of neurons column is prevented and ensures that no "turning lanes" are missed.

Already in a previous study, the research team was able to demonstrate that the gaseous messenger nitric oxide is essential for cell migration during development of the locusts intestinal nervous system. If the synthesis of nitric oxide is blocked, the speed of nerve cells slows dramatically. So nitric oxide has the opposite effect to carbon monoxide, according to the scientists.

While nitric oxide is already recognized as a neuronal messenger molecule and regulatory signaling molecule Knipp and Bicker were able to demonstrate a developmental function for carbon monoxide for the first time.

Bald progress in pest control?

In a next step, the cell biologists TiHo want to find out whether the gas transmitters have similar functions in developing vertebrate nervous systems. In addition, research on the developmental biology of locusts nervous system should be intensified.

Such knowledge might be useful, among other things, to turn off the feeding apparatus of this insect pest already at the embryonic stage and so to contribute to the pest.

(Idw - University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, 07.01.2009 - DLO)

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