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 literature freely available to read online. Particularly for research funded by tax payers, it would be nice to have free access to the research results.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America does not make its articles available to everyone for the first six months.
At a future date I will blog about: Distinct subclasses of medium spiny neurons differentially regulate striatal motor behaviors (Done; see this blog post). That article should be available for free online in February 2011. A recent review article explores the evidence concerning how neatly the axons of two subclasses of striatal medium-sized spiny neurons are segregated in terms of their projections out of the striatum along the direct and indirect pathways. A remaining question for future study is if there might be as-yet unrecognized subpopulations of medium-sized spiny neurons.
While waiting for access to the above article, try reading: Characterization of Human Huntington’s Disease Cell Model from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Starting with a pluripotent stem cell line derived from an individual with Huntington disease, the cells were induced to differentiate into neurons with characteristics like striatal neurons. Ningzhe Zhang et al hope that these differentiated neural cells might provide a convenient cell model useful in the study of Huntington disease and for drug screening. This article provides a good example of the available tools for producing stem cell lines and inducing the differentiation of stem cells under laboratory culture conditions. It will be interesting to see the extent to which the two major types of striatal medium-sized spiny neurons can be reproduced in culture.
Lower right: simplified illustration of the direct and indirect pathways for outputs from the striatum (see).
PLoS (and NPG) redefine the scholarly publishing landscape