In recent years, scientists have increasingly focused on the link between genetic changes and neurological conditions such as autism and schizophrenia. Researchers from around the world are working to unlock the mysteries of the brain and understand what changes occur in cells to better understand these complex diseases.
A recent study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry has caught the attention of the scientific community. Scientists discovered the existence of a strange type of brain cells that were previously thought to be just a quirk or a bug. These cells have two chemical markers, the protein parvalbumin (PV) and the molecule cholecystokinin (CCK), which are normally found in different types of neurons.
However, the scientists found that in some cells, both markers are present at the same time. This discovery sparked interest because neurons with PV activate quickly and generate short-lived signals, while neurons with CCK activate more slowly. Previous studies have shown that these neurons are usually active at opposite time points, with PV neurons often triggering earlier and even inhibiting CCK neurons.
To confirm this finding, the researchers conducted experiments in mice. They used molecular staining and RNA sequencing techniques to determine which genes are active in these cells. The researchers also examined postmortem brain tissue from people with autism and schizophrenia, as well as brain tissue from people without these conditions.
The results of the study showed that cells with PV and CCK activate genes associated with cellular energy production using oxygen. This suggests that these cells require more energy for their work. However, the scientists found that the expression of these genes was altered in the tissues of people with autism and schizophrenia.
This discovery may have important implications for understanding the causes and mechanisms of autism and schizophrenia. Previous studies have previously linked these neurological conditions to genetic changes that cause oxidative stress or the accumulation of reactive byproducts of energy production in cells.
Some scientists believe that these strange brain cells may play a key role in causing autism and schizophrenia. However, further research is needed to fully understand this issue.