2020 news

10 August 2020 

Age-dependent effects of protein restriction on dopamine release

Fabien Naneix, Kate Z. Peters, Andrew M.J. Young, James E. McCutcheon

Balanced protein intake is crucial for health and development. This work studied how having too little protein in diet when rats are adults or during their adolescence may affect their brain function. Using a recording technique called fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, researchers observed that low protein diets affected the release of dopamine, an essential neuromodulator for motivation and learning. Interestingly, the consequence of the low protein diet differed depending on the age of the rats and had stronger effects when performed in adolescent animals, highlighting the vulnerability of the brain to dietary deficiencies during development.


3 June 2020

two brown mice being heldKv3.1 and Kv3.3 subunits differentially contribute to Kv3 channels and action potential repolarization in principal neurons of the auditory brainstem

This research used CBA mice and transgenic knockout mice, which had been backcrossed here at Leicester onto the same CBA strain. The study used brain tissue from humanely killed mice to conduct in vitro studies of the mechanisms of hearing by using histology, electrophysiology and measurements of gene expression. The study compared the role of two genes and discovered that one of the genes (called  kcnc3 or Kv3.3) is crucial for normal hearing (and other aspects of brain function). Research on this topic is continuing in the PRF to explore how mutations in Kv3.3 underlie hearing loss and neurodegeneration in diseases such as spinocerebellar ataxia type 13 (SCA13).


16 April 2020

White rat being held in technician's gloved hands.Inhibition of neuroinflammatory nitric oxide signalling supresses protein glycation and recovers neuronal dysfunction in prion disease

Studies carried out by researchers at the University of Leicester led by Joern Steinert's research group.

Inhibition of neuroinflammatory nitric oxide signalling supresses protein glycation and recovers neuronal dysfunction in prion disease. This study is associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.