Vitamin A for afferent neuron


Neuroscientists concur that an individual’s brain is continuously altering, rewiring itself and adjusting to ecological stimuli. This is how people find out brand-new things and develop memories. This versatility and malleability is called plasticity. “Physicians have actually long presumed that renovating procedures likewise occur in people at the contact points in between afferent neuron, i.e. straight at the synapses. Previously, nevertheless, such a collaborated adjustment of structure and function might just be shown in animal experiments,” states Prof. Dr. Andreas Vlachos from the Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Freiburg. And now Vlachos, together with Prof. Dr. Jürgen Beck, head of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University Medical Center Freiburg, has actually supplied speculative proof for synaptic plasticity in people. In addition to Vlachos and Beck, the research study group includes Dr. Maximilian Lenz, Pia Kruse and Amelie Eichler from the University of Freiburg, Dr. Jakob Strähle from the University Medical Center Freiburg and associates from Goethe University Frankfurt. The outcomes existed in the clinical journal eLife

In the experiments, the group examined whether so-called dendritic spinal columns alter when exposed to a vitamin An acquired called retionic acid. Dendritic spinal columns are the parts of the synapse that get, procedure and send signals throughout interaction in between nerve cells. As such, they play an essential function in brain plasticity and are continuously adjusting to daily experience. For instance, discovering can alter the number and shape of dendritic spinal columns. Nevertheless, an improvement in the number or shape of the spinal columns is likewise discovered in illness such as anxiety or dementia.

The research study reveals that retinoic acid not just increases the size of dendritic spinal columns, however likewise reinforces their capability to send signals in between nerve cells. “We have actually concluded from our outcomes that retinoic acids are very important messengers for synaptic plasticity in the human brain. Hence, this finding adds to the recognition of crucial systems of synaptic plasticity in the human brain and might support the advancement of brand-new healing techniques for brain illness, such as anxiety,” states Vlachos.

To experimentally show that synaptic plasticity likewise exists in people, the scientists utilize small samples of human cortex, which need to be compulsorily eliminated throughout neurosurgical treatments for healing factors. The eliminated brain tissue was then treated with retinoic acid prior to practical and structural homes of nerve cells were examined utilizing electrophysiological and tiny strategies.

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Journal Recommendation:

  1. Maximilian Lenz, Pia Kruse, Amelie Eichler, Jakob Straehle, Jürgen Beck, Thomas Deller, Andreas Vlachos. All-trans retinoic acid causes synaptic plasticity in human cortical nerve cells eLife, 2021; 10 DOI: 10.7554/ eLife.63026

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University of Freiburg. “Vitamin A for afferent neuron.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2021. <<>.

University of Freiburg. (2021, March 31). Vitamin A for afferent neuron. ScienceDaily Obtained August 17, 2022 from

University of Freiburg. “Vitamin A for afferent neuron.” ScienceDaily. (accessed August 17, 2022).


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