Volume 7 Issue 10, October 2004
News & Views
In C. elegans, dopamine signaling regulates locomotion behavior. Chase and colleagues report that this signaling occurs through extrasynaptic and antagonistically acting receptors coexpressed in motor neurons. These results provide surprising insights into the G-protein pathways mediating this antagonism, with implications for dopamine signaling across species.
Syncytin is a viral envelope protein encoded in the human genome. New work in this issue indicates that it is activated in multiple sclerosis astrocytes and microglia, contributing to the inflammation-induced myelin destruction that causes disease symptoms.
Monkeys and humans work harder for immediate than for distant rewards. How are associations between reward immediacy and sensory stimuli established in the brain? A recent study suggests a crucial role for dopamine-mediated activity in the rhinal cortex.
Many primitive movements, such as swimming or scratching, are rhythmic. An imaging study now suggests that complex discrete movements may simply be a special case of rhythmic movements, in which they are stopped after only one cycle.
This focus examines the sexual development and differentiation of the brain, as well as the brain circuits behind pair bonding, a sex-associated social behavior. An accompanying commentary raises ethical issues that must be considered when studying such a complex (and controversial) topic as human sexuality. These articles are freely available for the month of October.