The neurons we have in our stomach can be renewed every two weeks La Crónica del Quindío


One study suggests that an imbalance in the ability of the gut to resettle with new neurons and eliminate the dead could cause Parkinson's disease.

The neurons we have in the stomach can be restored every two weeks

Lately, it is known with certainty that the nervous system extends to the digestive system. However, the relationship between this nervous system and the brain is not yet clear. To understand this, a team of researchers in the US. He studied with mice and found that neurons that make up their intestinal nervous system almost always changed every two weeks.

In addition, the results of the study, which were presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego, suggest an imbalance in the ability of the gut to resettle with new neurons and removal of the dead could lead to Parkinson's disease.

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Neurons go, neurons come

"Problems with the balance of cell rotation, not with the neurons themselves, can cause complications and gastrointestinal diseases," he said during a meeting, Subhash Kulkarni of the Johns Hopkins University, Maryland.

He and his team found that intestinal neurons in the gut wall of the mice were continuously dying at rather high levels. Almost one third of the intestinal neurons of mice were lost after seven days. But dead neurons do not accumulate, they are removed by macrophages, a type of immune cell that eats bacteria and viruses.

The researchers noticed that the gut created new cells that replaced the neurons that died and were erased. They found that the gut cells of the stem cells, which spread very rapidly. In mice, after two weeks, 88% of neurons are located Between the two layers of the muscle in the small intestine they were re-formed. In other words, there is a lot of traffic in the cell, but the number of neurons remains the same.

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The relationship with Parkinson's disease

Not only that, Kulkarni suspects the accumulation of alpha synuclein, a protein whose accumulation can interrupt nerve signals in the people with Parkinson's disease, this can be due to the traffic of neurons.

"If something goes wrong with cleaning mechanisms or if there are disruptions between the continuous development of new neurons and constant cleaning, then there will be accumulation of waste," he says. "And as much as it accumulates, the larger groups are alpha synucleinins that can become," he adds.

In order to support your hypothesis, Kulkarni says his team has preliminary data from a new study. By varying the amount of macrophages present or the speed at which neurons resettle in the mouse gut, researchers manipulate the cellular / death rate. When they do, they see the beginnings of protein accumulation leading to Parkinson's disease, says Kulkarni.

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However, all experts completely disagree with the Kulkarna proposal. "I do not doubt his findings, but I do not think this is a story," said New Scientist Ruth G. Perez, a Parkinson researcher at Texas Tech University in El Paso. "If the neuron traffic is so fast, why continue to see this protein accumulation in patients with Parkinson's disease?"

The relationship between the digestive system and Parkinson's disease they are more clearly understood. Less than a week ago, scientists from the Van Andel Research Institute in Michigan, USA, found that the neurodegenerative disease could be derived from the additive.

Victor Roman
This news was originally published in N + 1, a science it adds

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