04 September 2017

Restored axons

Researchers were able to cope with the consequences of strokes and spinal injuries

Anna Kerman, XX2 century, based on the materials of MedicalNewsToday: Nerve fibers regenerated with molecular mix

Scientists have managed to find a way to restore axons – the most important parts of a neuron – after damage. The discovery can help patients who have suffered spinal cord injury, stroke, as well as those who suffer from neurodegenerative diseases. Theoretically, thanks to the results of the new work, such patients may be able to restore motor skills.

According to statistics, stroke is most often the cause of paralysis, it accounts for about a third of cases. Spinal cord injury is in second place, 27% of cases of paralysis are on its "account".

Stroke and spinal cord injury are accompanied by damage to axons located in the cerebral cortex and in the spinal cord. An axon is a long "tail" of a nerve cell that transmits information from the body of a neuron to other cells.

As part of a new study led by Zhigang He, an employee of Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, scientists injected experimental mice with a mixture they developed in the hope that it would help restore axons. The results of the work are published in the journal Neuron.

In previous studies, it was shown that the combination of insulin-like growth factor 1 with the protein osteopontin helped restore vision to rodents by regenerating the axons of the optic nerve. In addition, it is known that osteopontin is involved in the processes of inflammation and degeneration of the nervous system, it plays an important role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

As part of the new work, He and his colleagues divided the experimental mice into two groups. All the animals suffered a spinal injury or stroke, but some of the mice were treated with a mixture of the substances mentioned above, while the rest of the animals that made up the control group were not prescribed the mixture.

After that, the researchers evaluated the motor skills of the animals, including complex ones, for which the mice were forced to walk along a horizontal ladder with unevenly placed crossbars.

It turned out that the mice treated with the ability to move recovered significantly more actively. In addition, 12 weeks after the injury, mice from the experimental group were much less likely (46% versus 70% in the control group) to make mistakes when moving along a horizontal ladder.

The scientists then repeated the experiment by adding 4-aminopyridine-3-methanol to the mixture of the substances mentioned above, a substance known for its ability to improve axon connections in patients with multiple sclerosis. Mice treated with the new mixture made mistakes on the ladder only in 30% of cases, while healthy mice – in 20%. That is, in comparison, the "treated" animals were practically not inferior to animals who had no history of strokes or spinal injuries.

"In our laboratory, for the first time, we developed a drug that allowed animals with models of spinal cord injury and stroke to restore functional activity," says He.

Now the authors of the work plan to test the developed mixture in clinical trials with the participation of human volunteers.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru  04.09.2017

Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version