Recent research from MBL scientist Jennifer Morgan‘s lab is highlighted in this blog post at the journal eNeuro. Morgan studies the mechanisms that underlie Parkinson’s disease and several other neurodegenerative disorders, using the lamprey as a research model organism. Morgan also directs the MBL’s Eugene Bell Center for Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering.
By Rosalind S.E. Carney
Synucleinopathies, such as Parkinson’s disease, are a type of neurogenerative disorder associated with excessive accumulation of alpha-synuclein (α-synuclein) in insoluble cytoplasmic aggregates called Lewy Bodies. Within a healthy neuron, normal levels of α-synuclein expression are predominantly observed in the presynapse. The presynapse contains synaptic vesicles which store neurotransmitters until an action potential results in neurotransmitter release into the synaptic cleft. This neurotransmitter release event activates receptors on the postsynaptic neurons allowing neurons to communicate with each other. To ensure that subsequent neurotransmitter release can occur rapidly, components of synaptic vesicles and neurotransmitters are taken back into the presynapse for recycling. Read more …
Image: Jennifer Morgan (right) and colleague Ona Bloom with a juvenile lamprey. Credit: Amanda Martinez
Source: eNeuro Blog