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NEUR 2600 (19)

Brain Cells

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University of Lethbridge
NEUR 2600
Ian Whishaw

Brain Cells January-24-13 10:13 PM Main Points: - 3 main types of brain cells: stem cells, neurons and glia - 5 types of neurons and 5 types of glia - Neurons have 10 distinguishing features - There are brain diseases specifically related to neurons and specifically related to glia How do we know the brain is made of cells? - The Neuron Doctrine ○ Camillo Golgi  Created the Golgi stain  Thought the brain was composed of a big net, and fluid flowed around the brain, and that's how information was transferred ○ Ramony Cajal  Concluded that the net was actually individual units (cells) □ Weren't directly connected with each other like a net.  2 scientists working on this problem (no one knew what cells are)  First scientists to get awarded together, but didn't like each other that much - Looking at brain cells ○ Light Microscope  Light passed through tissue, light refracted through lens, reflected onto retina  Get a pretty good overall idea of structure/anatomy  Magnify up to 40-50x magnification and start to see the individual units Cajal was talking about  Tissue is stained ○ Fluorescent Microscope  Technique where tissue is stained with multiple fluorescent dyes that are tagged and recognize the parts of the cells □ Scientist has to put tissue under microscope and get just the light for one fluorescent color, then combine each photo ○ Brainbow  Different type of light microscopicy  Actually grow animals with fluorescent cells  Animals that naturally produce these FL proteins (jelly fish) □ Scientists have figured out which gene produced the FL protein, and insert it into a mouse genome, etc □ Engineered these genes so that the FL proteins are only expressed in certain types of cells  Cells that produce dopamine might FL green, etc ○ 2 Photon Microscope  90% of the tissue from the techniques above from dead animal or taken from an animal and is growing in a dish  Stimulate the mouse (touch paw, etc) and watch how neurons react to stimulation  Scientists cut a hole into the skull to look at the brain of living creatures Stem cells Neurogenesis: - Neurogenesis = birth - It was once thought that we had all our brain cells shortly after birth. There are three places that generate new cells throughout life. ○ Dentate gyrus/subgranular zone ○ Subventricular zone  Migrate to olfactory bulb ○ Retina  By using the right chemical environment, cause retinal cells to undergo neurogenesis  Promising because you might encourage retina to replace damaged tissue and restore sight □ Exciting because neurons are getting born, travel to lesion and help heal damage from stroke, □ Exciting because neurons are getting born, travel to lesion and help heal damage from stroke, etc. - Brent Reynolds ○ Lots of research at U of L ○ Undergrad student, person that first solidified the fact that neurons can be born in the brain - Neurospheres ○ Found that the cells he had grown had turned into neurospheres ○ Proved that cells could replicate in the brain ○ Huge practical applications for stem cells Distinguishing Features of Neurons: 1. Cell body (soma) 2. Axon hillock 3. Axon 4. Axon collateral 5. Teleodendria 6. Terminal buttons 7. Dendrites 8. Dendritic branches 9. Dendritic spines 10. Synapse Enduring Dendrites don't change much, any new things are probably going to reflect in the Plastic branches of the dendrite - Damage one of the core dendrites, cell can't compensate for this, and could result in cell death Neurons: 1. Dorsal Root Ganglion (Sensory) - Cell body is located just outside the spinal cord - Dendrites located in the body (skin/muscles) - Hot flame that touches your body, synapses to motor neuron to pull away - Cell body is located on side  Quick transfer of information 2. Stellate Cells (Interneurons) - Look
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