Daily in the human body die tens of billions of cells, which is a natural part of his life. The biodegradable waste will be disposed of, clearing the way for new cells. As this process takes place with the neurons of the brain, for the first time saw researchers from Yale school of medicine (USA).
The scientists used a new system “2Phatal”, which tinted fluorescent dye individual neurons, and then killed them. It all happened on live mice, but to a limited extent, not to disrupt neural activity of animals. The main task is to study, how exactly is recycling dead neurons.
It turned out that all the work is done by three types of glial cells. The first is activated microglia, which absorbs the main body of the neuron, which takes a few hours. In parallel, astrocytes destroy the remnants of dendrites – past relations of the cell to other neurons. Finally, the void is filled NG2 cells. The work of all three components are closely interrelated and when one of them slowing down or inability to continue the whole process slowed down and can even “stand in pause”.
The researchers noticed a decrease in the rate of recycling depending on the age of the body. The older media of neurons, the slower the process. Perhaps this explains why age-related neurodegenerative diseases – the body has no time to get rid of dead neurons, leading to their accumulation. And this leads us to the idea to develop a mechanism to force cleanup of dead brain neurons to help the elderly to the body faster to get rid of them.