Marine Biological Laboratory Researchers Find Zinc's Crucial Pathway to the Brain

Published: Jun 27, 2013

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A new study helps explain how parts of the brain maintain their delicate balance of zinc, an element required in minute but crucial doses, particularly during embryonic development. The study, led at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) by Mark Messerli in collaboration with scientists from the University of California, Davis, shows that neural cells require zinc uptake through a membrane transporter referred to as ZIP12.. If that route is closed, neuronal sprouting and growth are significantly impaired and is fatal for a developing embryo. Their discovery was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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