For hundreds of thousands of people, injuring a muscle through an accident like falling off a bike or having surgery can result in a strange and serious complication. Their muscles start growing bones.
No one understood what caused the abnormal bone growth, so there was no treatment. But now, research from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania shows that a neuropeptide in the brain called Substance P appears to trigger the formation of the extraskeletal bone. Eliminating Substance P prevents the bone growth.
The discovery -– in human and animal tissues -- offers a molecular target for drugs to potentially prevent and treat the abnormal bone growth, which is called heterotopic ossification.
"Patients who have it become very uncomfortable, and there is no way to make it go away," said Jack Kessler, M.D., chair of neurology at Northwestern's Feinberg School, a neurologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the senior author of the paper, which was published in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. "This explains why it happens and gives us a way to develop a therapy to potentially treat it."
Lixin Kan, research associate professor at Feinberg and lead author of the paper, found that Substance P is dramatically increased in newly damaged tissue of patients who have the more common heterotopic ossification as well as a rarer and debilitating genetic disease. In the genetic disease, connective tissue begins to ossify and turn into bone. It's called fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP).
In the paper, Kan reports that knocking out Substance P in animals prevented the development of the extraskeletal bone in an animal model.
"This work establishes a common mechanism underlying lesion induction for nearly all forms of heterotopic ossification including brain and spinal cord injury, peripheral nerve injury, athletic injury, total hip replacement and FOP," said paper co-author Frederick Kaplan, the Isaac & Rose Nassau Professor of Orthopaedic Molecular Medicine at Penn's Perelman School. "These novel findings usher in a new era in understanding of these complex disorders."
Marla Paul | EurekAlert!
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy