Study of the nervous system could have implications for regenerative medicine and cancer

February 10, 2017; Biology professor Cody Smith in his lab in Galvin. (Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame)

In order for the central nervous system (CNS) to communicate to the rest of the body, the brain and spinal cord house nerves that send and receive signals via neurons or nerve cells. This communication can only take place because structures – known as synapses – allow this process to happen.

When nerve cells come close enough together to form a synapse, they allow synaptic vesicles to release a chemical substance that transfers the communication signal to the next cell. However, a new study from the University of Notre Dame has shown that these synaptic vesicles are utilized much earlier, before synapses occur, and that they are also used in the formation of the spinal cord during early development.

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September 19, 2019

Health and SocietyScience and TechnologyHealthCody SmithUndergraduate ResearchSpinal CordRegenerative MedicineBiological SciencesCancerCollege of ScienceMedicineResearch