Monthly Archives: December 2010

Striatal direct and indirect pathways

This blog post is about the idea that there are two populations of neurons in the striatum that have essentially opposite effects on the control of movement. Set science free. There is a trend towards having more of the biomedical … Continue reading

Posted in Huntington disease, Parkinson disease, Set science free | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Vesicular monoamine transporter

The previous blog post mentioned the idea that dopamine (DA) can regulate the extent of gap junction coupling between neurons. In Parkinson disease there is loss of dopamine-producing neurons (neurodegeneration) and one pharmacological approach to improving motor control is to … Continue reading

Posted in Diseases, dyskinesia, Huntington disease, L-DOPA, membrane transport, Parkinson disease, pharmacology, tetrabenazine | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gap junctions in the brain

Most connections between neurons are chemical synapses, but there are also gap junctions in the brain. Gap junctions between neurons have been particularly well studied for inhibitory interneurons. For example, the diagram here (to the right) shows gap junctions between … Continue reading

Posted in gap junctions, membrane transport, Parkinson disease, schizophrenia | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Gas Channels

The previous blog post was about ammonia channels. Ammonia is a gas, and we can ask: under what conditions do cells use gas-conducting channels? When ammonia (NH3) dissolves in water it is usually converted to ammonium ion (NH4+). However, our … Continue reading

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Ammonia transport

Humans have a small group of genes in the Mep/Amt/Rh family, including one that codes for the Rhesus blood group antigen, RhD (RHD). The RhD protein is best known for causing erythroblastosis fetalis. Women who lack the RhD protein can produce antibodies … Continue reading

Posted in ammonia, erythroblastosis fetalis, membrane transport | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Urea Channels

Several urea transport proteins have been identified in humans, including the products of the SLC14A1 and SLC14A2 genes. Study of urea transmembrane transport processes had suggested relatively fast transport kinetics, indicative of channel proteins that can conduct a stream of urea … Continue reading

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Arsenic trioxide

I previously mentioned that arsenic is a carcinogen, but arsenic trioxide is an FDA-approved drug used for the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia. How does arsenic trioxide function to control the growth of some cancerous cells? A signal transduction pathway that … Continue reading

Posted in acute promyelocytic leukemia, Arsenic, cancer, cyclopia, Hedgehog pathway | Tagged , | Leave a comment