Memory harms DNA

To work properly, the neurons have to constantly tear our DNA - it breaks it helps to activate[t:tag slug=aktivnost]activate the genes necessary for the strengthening of interneuronal contacts.

The older a person, the more he usually knows and remembers (though every rule there are exceptions). Of course, experience does not pass without a trace, but as it turned out, memory and aging are linked more closely than might be expected: the processes occurring in the neurons during the training, have a lot to do with the age-related changes.

All cells and neurons including must constantly repair DNA breaks occur in which, falling fragments, substitutions at the correct nucleotide irregular, etc. Engaged in a variety of special repair proteins in the system repair. The young cell DNA repaired mechanisms work well, but older they gradually cease to meet the challenge and begin to accumulate in the genome of the damage that can cause various diseases.

It is known, for example, that the syndrome, Alzheimer’s before the appearance of any symptoms of DNA in hippocampal neurons, one of the main memory centers appear multiple discontinuities. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, decided to find out what molecular events occur in the cells of the brain in the event of damage. Neurons mice treated with special toxin causes double-stranded breaks in DNA, and then evaluated whether the changed somehow genetic activity in the cell.

A total of 700 genes changes affected, most of them began to work less, which is not surprising, because if the gene was defective, then the cell he now can only hurt. However, the activity of 12 genes, on the contrary, increased, and, most interestingly, it was the same genes that are essential for neuronal response to an external stimulus. It is known that the perception and memorization of a new sensory experience (and not only touch) require a change in the interneuronal connections: synapses connecting the cells to each other and serve to transmit a signal from one neuron to another, become stronger and more effective - otherwise the chain will neuronal working poor, pulses will be lost before reaching the destination and any new information will not remember. Increased synaptic requires molecular tools, which in turn is linked to the activation of specific genes. In an article in Cell authors write that in an attempt to strengthen the synapses of neurons in the DNA starts to tear. It turned out that the storage and activation of the corresponding genes in neurons are accompanied by damage to the DNA.

9 June 2015

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