For decades, the existence of these generators had been hypothesized and never observed in a living organism or neurons.
USA – The human brain accounts for only 2% of total body weight but use 20% of the available energy in the body, essentially to provide pathway to transfer messages between neurons. A stressful situation can cause excessive pressure on the power supply. Any alteration of the metabolic state, even momentarily, can seriously disturb the cognitive functions of the brain.
The team of Daniel Colón-Ramos, of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, studied the worm C. elegans and discovered a “power generator” emergency rapidly assembled wherever you needed to feed the synaptic function during times of energy shortage.
At synapses, the points of contact and communication among neurons, the neuronal activity causes a changing energy demand. The aforementioned must be fulfilled locally to maintain both brain activity and synaptic function.
The main sources of energy are microscopic cellular “power plants” known as mitochondria, which deal with addressing these local energy needs. However, now and then, even the mitochondria cannot adapt to major alterations in energy demand experienced by neurons.
According to the study, when glycolytic proteins, ancient enzymes present in all living cells and cooperating in energy production, are mobilized from all cell components to produce an emergency generator.
For decades, the existence of these generators had been hypothesized and never observed in a living organism or neurons. Unlike mitochondria, which have all energy-producing components efficiently ordered into stable structures, these emergency generators are cytoplasmic, which means they are spread all over the cell.
The results were published were in the Journal Cell.