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The back-up for neurons

12. September 2022

Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna have discovered that nerve cells (neurons) have an emergency p system to enable them to remain functional even when their energy supply is disrupted.

In their preclinical studies, the research team led by Matej Hotka and Helmut Kubista from the Division of Neurophysiology and Neuropharmacology at the Centre for Physiology and Pharmacology of the Medical University of Vienna proved that brain nerve cells (neurons) have three regulatory systems. If one of these systems fails, another one takes over and ensures that sufficient energy is supplied to meet the prevailing requirement.

More specifically, the researchers identified the glycerol-3-phosphate shuttle system (G3PS) as an essential back-up. The role of G3PS in acute defence against neuronal emergencies discovered in this study could contribute to research into various brain dysfunctions.

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