One study suggests that the imbalance in the ability of the intestines to repopulate new neurons and eliminate the dead can lead to Parkinson's disease.
Recently, it is certain that the nervous system expands to the digestive system. However, the relationship between this enteric nervous system and the brain is not yet clear. To understand this, a team of US researchers. He did study with the mouse and found that the neurons that make up his enteral nervous system are almost completely replaced every two weeks.
In addition, the results of the study, presented at the annual meeting of the San Diego Neuroscience Society, indicate an imbalance in the ability of intestinal origin to regain the new neurons and removing the dead could lead to Parkinson's disease.
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Neurons go, neurons are coming
"Problems with the rotation of cells, not the neurons themselves, can cause complications and gastrointestinal disease," he said during a meeting, Subhash Kulkarni from John Hopkins University in Maryland.
He and his team found that the intestinal neurons in the intestinal lining of the mice are constantly dying at a relatively high rate. Nearly one third of the intestinal neurons of the mice were lost after seven days. But dead neurons do not accumulate, macrophages are eliminated, the type of immune cell that bacterates and viruses.
Scientists noticed that the intestine had to produce new cells that would replace the neurons that died and were destroyed. They have discovered that the intestine has stem cells that are growing rapidly. Mice are 88% of neurons after two weeks Between the two layers of muscle in the small intestine they re-formed. In other words, there is a huge turnover of cells, but the number of neurons remains the same.
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Relationship with Parkinson's disease
And not only that, Kulkarni suspects the accumulation of alpha synuclein, a protein whose accumulation can suppress nerve signals in the brains of people with Parkinson's disease, it may be the result of neural turnover.
"If something comes up with cleaning mechanisms or if we have interference between the constant generation of new neurons and constant cleaning, then there will be a waste accumulation," he says. "And the more impurities accumulate, the higher the alpha synuclein groups that can happen," he adds.
To support the hypothesis, Kulkarni says his team has preliminary data from a new study. By varying the number of macrophages present or the rate at which the neurons are repopulated in the mouse, the researchers manipulate the life / cell death rate. When he does, he sees the beginnings of the accumulation of proteins that lead to Parkinson's disease, says Kulkarni.
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Not all experts, however, fully agree with Kulkarni's proposal. "I have no doubt about his finding, but I do not think that's the whole story," said Ruth G. Perez, a researcher at Parkinson's University of Texas at El Paso, for the New Scientist. "If the turn of neurons is so fast, why do we continue to see this accumulation of protein in paraminin patients?"
Relationship between digestive system and Parkinson's disease they begin to understand each other. Less than a week ago, scientists at the Van Andel Research Institute in Michigan in the US found that the neurodegenerative disease listed above might be of the origin.
This report was originally published in N + 1, the science it adds