Scientists Discover How Botox Enters Brain Cells

Researchers have made strides in knowing how the medication and popular cosmetic procedure Botox enters brain cells.

Botox is a popular procedure that reduces wrinkles and lines on the face, such as crow's feet and frown lines, by relaxing the facial muscles.

The neurotoxic protein is most commonly used in the cosmetics business when injected to reduce wrinkles. The bacteria Clostridium botulinum can emit the botulinum toxin, which can result in the illness botulism.

The study, led by Professor Frederic Meunier and Merja Joensuu from the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland, says the muscle-freezing effects of Botox have been used to treat spasms, migraines, and even excessive sweating since it was first created to address the symptoms of the eye ailment strabismus.


The team showed through super-resolution microscopy that a receptor known as synaptotagmin 1 joins with two previously identified clostridial neurotoxin receptors to create a tiny complex on the surface of neurons.

The toxin hijacks this complex and enters the synaptic vesicles, which store neurotransmitters critical to communication between neurons.

- Meunier

Then, he stated, Botox blocks communication between nerve and muscle cells, resulting in paralysis.

It is now conceivable to create innovative treatments for botulism, a potentially deadly bacterial infection usually contracted after ingesting improperly canned food contaminated with C. botulinum, thanks to the new understanding of the mechanism through which Botox enters the body.

A fundamental issue regarding the medication that has been challenging to answer is answered by the study, which was published in The EMBO Journal.

The study allows for an understanding of connections between two of the three receptors to prevent the lethal toxins from entering neurons since we understand how this complex permits toxin internalization.


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