Study how adhesion molecules are involved in the processes of memory and learning.
MEXICO – A researcher at the Department of Molecular Biology – The Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (CINVESTAV) – studied how adhesion molecules involved in the processes of memory and learning.
Adhesion molecules involved in brain process by which a neural network of communication that allow movement, learning, thinking and memory, among other functions of the organism, according to the specialist Antony Boucard.
So far, the scientist working on how to enhance these cognitive biological functions by modulating adhesion molecules.
Evidence that these molecules are altered genetically in some human disorders and notes that it differs in how we learn and form memory, Boucard said in an interview with the News Agency of the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT).
The researcher noted that they studied protein-coupled G (GPCRs) adhesion receptors and that there is now more interest in them because they are mutated in neurological disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, even in cancer and other autoimmune diseases.
He said that the brain has very specialized molecules that promote and generate cell adhesion which are known as molecules neuronal adhesion, there are many kinds, but the most important are the neuroligin, neurexin, latrophilin 3 and teneurin, which in pairs serve as a bridge to establish contact between the axons of neurons.
He added that the adhesion molecules in addition to intervene in the formation of neural networks are also involved in the processes of memory formation and storage of information that can be used in learning.
“What we do in the laboratory is to understand how these molecules can influence these processes,” he said.
In patients with attention deficit, latrohilin adhesion 3 molecule is found in many genetic mutations and relates directly to learning, therefore, through functional alteration in neuron try to understand how these mutations can alter behavior.
Boucard said that to understand the role of cell adhesion, it should be understood that there are contacts between neurons are established and are promoted by these cells.
On one side of the axon (presynapse) are neurexin or latrophilin and the other (postsynapse) neuroligin or teneurin, so that upon contact they set the bridge to complete the cell adhesion and allow neural connection, he added.
“There are other molecules that promote million contacts in different areas of the brain, but we studied neurexin, neuroligin, latrophilin and teneurin, and try to discover how they interact to complete the process of neuron-neuron cell adhesion” he explained.
He said that with these studies the bases are established to understand the functions of these molecules in the context of behavior, and short-term test whether a peptide is possible to modulate the function of adhesion molecules and analyze whether it can help control the described disorders.
To determine the molecular and cellular changes in organisms, researchers use animal models such as flies and mice also discussed how they translate into changing their behavior.