Northwestern University researchers have discovered that when the human egg is activated by a sperm enzyme, an explosion of zinc sparks erupt
If the videos do not start automatically, then click on the two links below. They are from the study published in Scientific Reports
Video is courtesy of GeoBeats News YouTube channel
Egg activation refers to events required for transition of a gamete into an embryo, including establishment of the polyspermy block, completion of meiosis, entry into mitosis, selective recruitment and degradation of maternal mRNA, and pronuclear development. Here we show that zinc fluxes accompany human egg activation. We monitored calcium and zinc dynamics in individual human eggs using selective fluorophores following activation with calcium-ionomycin, ionomycin, or hPLCζ cRNA microinjection. These egg activation methods, as expected, induced rises in intracellular calcium levels and also triggered the coordinated release of zinc into the extracellular space in a prominent “zinc spark.” The ability of the gamete to mount a zinc spark response was meiotic-stage dependent. Moreover, chelation of intracellular zinc alone was sufficient to induce cell cycle resumption and transition of a meiotic cell into a mitotic one. Together, these results demonstrate critical functions for zinc dynamics and establish the zinc spark as an extracellular marker of early human development.
Please note that there is download link at the above linked to Scientific Reports site, which allows you to download the full study report.
The zinc spark is an inorganic signature of human egg activation
Authors: Francesca E. Duncan, Emily L. Que, Nan Zhang, Eve C. Feinberg, Thomas V. O’Halloran et al.
Publication: Scientific Reports
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Date: Apr 26, 2016
Copyright © 2016, Rights Managed by Nature Publishing Group
The article for which you have requested permission has been distributed under a Creative Commons CC-BY license (please see the article itself for the license version number). You may reuse this material without obtaining permission from Nature Publishing Group, providing that the author and the original source of publication are fully acknowledged, as per the terms of the license.
For license terms, please see http://creativecommons.org/
Posted by: Vincent Banial
Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner.
I used to post about Medical Research in the past. For example, our prior post about research done at Harvard regarding the association between Heart Disease and microbial Human Gut Bacteria had researchers from around the globe visiting this site. Hey life is not just about great looking Exotic Cars, great looking Women and great sounding Music. You should add Medical Research to “round out” that mix.
This post is about research being conducted in Australia, which shows great promise in the treatment of Alzheimers. Apparently some memory loss could be reversed, in mice so far, by using their protocol and Scanning UltraSound.
Their study was published in the peer reviewed journal: Science Translational Medicine 11 Mar 2015: Vol. 7, Issue 278
The article was titled: Research Article Alzheimer’s Disease
Scanning ultrasound removes amyloid-β and restores memory in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model.
The following is the Abstract (posted for Educational purposes). A link is provided further down to access the complete text and a downloadable PDF.
Amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We present a nonpharmacological approach for removing Aβ and restoring memory function in a mouse model of AD in which Aβ is deposited in the brain. We used repeated scanning ultrasound (SUS) treatments of the mouse brain to remove Aβ, without the need for any additional therapeutic agent such as anti-Aβ antibody. Spinning disk confocal microscopy and high-resolution three-dimensional reconstruction revealed extensive internalization of Aβ into the lysosomes of activated microglia in mouse brains subjected to SUS, with no concomitant increase observed in the number of microglia. Plaque burden was reduced in SUS-treated AD mice compared to sham-treated animals, and cleared plaques were observed in 75% of SUS-treated mice. Treated AD mice also displayed improved performance on three memory tasks: the Y-maze, the novel object recognition test, and the active place avoidance task. Our findings suggest that repeated SUS is useful for removing Aβ in the mouse brain without causing overt damage, and should be explored further as a noninvasive method with therapeutic potential in AD.
Posted by: Vincent Banial
Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is subject to change without notice. The Study Abstract has been included in this post for Educational Purposes and so is covered by the Fair Use component of Copyright. Uniquely Toronto makes no claims regarding the copyright or other rights to the published material. Also complete links have been included to the Science Translational Medicine site.