A study suggests that an imbalance in the ability of the intestines to repopulate with new neurons and eliminate the dead can lead to Parkinson's disease.
Recently, it is certain that the nervous system extends to the digestive system. However, the relationship between this enteral nervous system and the brain is not yet clear. To understand it, a team of researchers in the United States. He has done a study with mice and has found that the neurons that make up his enteral nervous system are almost completely replaced every other week.
In addition, the results of the study, presented at the Society of Neuroscience at the San Diego Annual Meeting, show an imbalance in the ability of the intestines to repopulate with new neurons and eliminating dead can lead to Parkinson's disease.
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Neurons go, neurons come
"The problems with the rotation of cells, not the neurons themselves, can cause complications and gastrointestinal diseases," he said during the meeting, Subhash Kulkarni from Johns Hopkins University, Maryland.
He and his team found that intestinal nerve cells in the digestion are constantly emptied at a fairly high rate. Nearly a third of mice intestinal nerves were lost after seven days. But dead neurons are not accumulated, they are eliminated by macrophages, a type of immune cell that eats bacteria and viruses.
The researchers noted that the intestine must produce new cells to replace the neurons that had died and been wiped out. They discovered that the intestines have stem cells that spread extremely quickly. In mice, after two weeks, 88% of neurons are present between the two layers of the muscles of the small intestine are formed again. In other words, there is a lot of cell turnover, but the number of neurons is the same.
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Relationship to Parkinson's
Not only that, Kulkarni suspects the accumulation of alpha synuclein, a protein whose accumulation can suffocate nerve signals in the brain of people with Parkinson's disease, It can be a consequence of neuronal turnover.
"If something goes wrong with the cleaning mechanisms, or if we have disturbances between the constant generation of new neurons and constant cleaning, there will be accumulation of waste, he says." And the more debris accumulates, the higher the alpha synuclea groups can be, " he adds.
To support your hypothesis, Kulkarni says his team has preliminary data from a new study. By changing the amount of macrophages present or the rate at which neurons are repopulated in the muscle, the researchers manipulate the cell life / death ratio. When they do, they see the beginning of the accumulation of proteins that lead to Parkinson's disease, says Kulkarni.
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But not all specialists fully agree with Kulkarni's proposal. "I do not doubt his results, but I do not think it's the whole story," told Ruth G. Perez, a parkinson's researcher at Texas Tech University in El Paso, New Scientist. "If neuronal turnover is so fast, why are we continuing to see this accumulation of proteins in Parkinson's patients?"
The relationship between the digestive system and Parkinson's disease they start to understand each other more clearly. Less than a week ago, researchers from the Van Andel Research Institute in Michigan, USA found that the above mentioned neurodegenerative disease could originate from the Annex.
These news was originally published in N + 1, a science that adds