Scientists Find How The Brain Adapts Learning And Protecting Itself

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Brain News – When any injury happens to the central nervous system, a wide variety of enzymes in the brain helps to loosen a dense network of molecules between the nerve cells (extracellular matrix). Study examined what happens when certain enzymes are blocked.

In a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers at the University of Göttingen let adult mice see only through their one eye for a few days and recorded the activity changes in the visual cortex of the animals. To measure the neuronal plasticity, they analyzed the visual cortex’s adaptability of healthy mice in which the MMP2 and MMP9 enzymes were blocked and the neural plasticity was also blocked as a result. After that, the researchers studied mice immediately after a stroke.

As per the findings, the targeted short-term inhibition of the MMP2 and MMP9 enzymes produced the opposite effect. The study showed that the neuronal plasticity had been greatly reduced due to stroke and it was restored after the inhibition. The research result explained that blocking the MMP2 and MMP9 enzymes had a clear therapeutic effect. The researchers discovered that blocking the matrix metalloproteinases MMP2 and MMP9 had opposite effects based on whether the brain was healthy or diseased.

“What made the design of our study different from many previous studies, is that the ‘matrix-degrading’ enzymes were blocked only after the experimental stroke, which simulates treatment,” said Siegrid Löwel, Professor of the Department of Systems Neuroscience at Göttingen University.

To Know More You May Refer To:

Akol, I., Kalogeraki, E., Pielecka-Fortuna, J., Fricke, M., & Löwel, S. (2021). MMP2 and MMP9 Activity Is Crucial for Adult Visual Cortex Plasticity in Healthy and Stroke-Affected Mice. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, JN-RM-0902-21. Advance online publication.

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