Yearbook 2008

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Growth promotion for nerve cells

Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology Bradke, Frank; Ertürk, Ali; Hellal, Farida; Enes, Joana; Witte, Harald; Neukirchen, Dorothee; Gomis-Rüth, Susana; Wierenga, Corette
An injury of nerve cells in the brain or spinal cord has generally serious consequences, since these cells can not regrow – in contrast to nerve cells e.g. in the arms or legs. For the first time scientists were now able to investigate the processes within an injured nerve cell. The investigations showed that the stabilization of small protein tubes within the cells is crucial for the cells' growth. The results could also lead to novel therapies. more
Scientists are beginning to get the gist of what happens in the brain when it learns or forgets something. A whole series of discoveries now shows how and where nerve cells create contacts between each other, or what happens, when the flow of information is disrupted or needs to be reestablished after a period of time. The results provide an intimate view into the fundamental functions of the brain. more
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