Watching what happens when a brain cell dies


brain cells
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

When neurons die, cellular garbage collectors mobilize in a highly choreographed procedure to dispose of the corpse and clear away debris. A failure to fully remove neurons can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders early in life and declines in cognitive abilities later in life.

Yale researchers Eyiyemisi Damisah and Robert Hill from Jaime Grutzendler’s neuroscience lab have for the first time captured images of this process at the level of a single neuron.

In the June 26 issue of the journal Science Advances, they show how specialized brain cells closely coordinate the removal of neuronal corpses and dendrites from the central nervous system.

Credit: Yale University

Adult-born neurons grow more than their infancy-born counterparts


More information:
Eyiyemisi C. Damisah et al. Astrocytes and microglia play orchestrated roles and respect phagocytic territories during neuronal corpse removal in vivo, Science Advances (2020). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba3239

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Yale University

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Video: Watching what happens when a brain cell dies (2020, June 29)
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