The astrocytes are the amplest cells in the brain and when the brain is diseased or injured these cells are the first responders. They turn into reactive and play role that can be advantageous and deleterious, but very few is known regarding how these diverse reactions to injury are controlled. While working on mouse prototypes, a multi-institutional group of scientists from the BCM (Baylor College of Medicine) found that NFIA (nuclear factor I-A) is a major regulator of the generation and action of reactive astrocytes. Surprisingly, NFIA’s function appears to depend on the kind of injury and on the area of the central nervous system where the damage takes place. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The study also defined the molecular mechanisms related and showed that NFIA is also copious in reactive astrocytes discovered in adult neurological and human pediatric injuries, indicating that NFIA might play the same roles in people. Dr. Benjamin Deneen—Professor of neurosurgery at BCM—said, “The reactive astrocytes are linked with most types of neurological disorders, right from sensitive injury to degeneration, but their assistance to disease is only now disclosing.”
On a similar note, recently, a study showed that the brain circuit links feeding and mood in reaction to stress. Most of the people have encountered stressful circumstances that activate a particular mood and also change specific feelings toward food. Researchers at BCM looked into the odds of crosstalk amid eating and mood and found a brain circuit in mouse prototypes that associate the feeding and the mood centers of the brain. The research was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry and these findings might assist in explaining some of the observations amid alterations in mood and metabolism and present insights into prospect solutions to these issues by targeting this circuit.