Researchers approached the creation of new methods of treating the nervous system diseases

Researchers from the US have discovered a new level of regulation of the connections between neurons and other cells. It turns out that α-ketoglutarate, formed in Krebs cycle that takes place in mitochondria, plays an important role in the transmission of neural signals, Medical Xpress reports.

The experts have carried out an experiment in fruit flies. The scientists focused on IDH3A gene, which is associated with α-ketoglutarate occurrence. The study has shown that despite the mutation of IDH3A in flies had a negative effect on mitochondria and caused a decrease in the level of α-ketoglutarate, the ability of mitochondria to generate energy for a long time was not impaired.

However, the researchers have also noted that due to the mutation of IDH3A in the neuromuscular synapses (connections between neurons), a signal transmission was disrupted. In particular, it produces less neurotransmitters. Similar effects are observed in the mutation of SYT1 gene, which stimulates the release of neurotransmitters.

Further studies have shown that the functions of these two genes are related. Apparently, α-ketoglutarate facilitates the signal transmission. Probably, the discovery may help to understand the mechanisms and develop new methods of treating some nervous system diseases.

Source: Medical Xpress.