Clinically, it has been long recognized that internally generated mechanical forces in the brain can have profound effects on brain function. Of note, early neurosurgeons reported specific brain disorders that were associated with elevations in intracranial pressure (ICP), including Cushing’s triad (1900) and Hakim’s Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (1965). Their work suggested the existence of “brain baroreceptors” that transduce changes in ICP and alter brain function. Most notably, in the case of NPH the associated dementia could be rapidly reversed by reducing the ICP. Recent technical developments have allowed the steady state and pulsatile ICPs associated with normal breathing and cardiac cycles to be characterized in greater detail. However, identification of the suspected “brain baroreceptors” lagged behind somewhat until the recent identification of the molecules, Piezo1 and Piezo2 that form the peripheral baroreceptors. Piezo1 expression was first measured in rodent and human brain neurons and implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, while Piezo2 was recently shown to be expressed in specific brain neurons, including cerebral pyramidal neurons and mitral cells of the olfactory bulb (OB). The latter observations led to the proposal that Piezo2 provides neurons with an intrinsic resonance that entrains their activity to ICP pulses associated with breathing and the cardiac cycle. Significantly, the evidence that breathing can entrain OB and cerebal neural circuits goes back approximately 80 years to the hedgehog studies conducted by Edgar Adrian. Many subsequent studies have confirmed and extended his observations in rodents. Moreover, respiration-locked oscillations have now been confirmed in human patients using either intracranial or high density EEG recordings. Most significantly, in some cases the oscillations were retained after switching from nasal to mouth breathing. This suggests that Adrian’s original olfactory afferent discharge mechanism dependent only on nasal airflow is not the only mechanism of synchronization. Clearly, many questions remain unanswered and a variety of techniques and approaches will be required to address these issues. To accelerate this process, the Journal of Integrative Neuroscience is launching a special issue on “Mechanotransduction in the Brain”. Researchers are invited to contribute articles in both the clinical and basic sciences that may provide new insights into how the brain senses and transduces mechanical forces to modify brain function. Manuscripts should be submitted as either original research or as review articles. All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed by experts in the field before acceptance for publication.
Dr. Owen P. Hamill
Manuscripts should be submitted via our online editorial system at https://imr.propub.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to start your submission. Manuscripts can be submitted now or up until the deadline. All papers will go through peer-review process. Accepted papers will be published in the journal (as soon as accepted) and meanwhile listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, reviews as well as short communications are preferred. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office to announce on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts will be thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. Please visit the Instruction for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) in this open access journal is 1900 USD. Submitted manuscripts should be well formatted in good English.