Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nerve Cells Successfully Regenerated Following Spinal Cord Injury

15.07.2004


Using a combination of therapies and cell grafts, a team of University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine researchers has promoted significant regeneration of nerve cells in rats with spinal cord injury.

The therapeutic approach successfully stimulated new nerve fibers called axons to grow and extend well beyond the site of the injury into surrounding tissue, following surgically induced spinal cord damage.

These results prove that combinational therapy can promote the vigorous growth of new axons even after a complete lesion of the spinal cord cells, with the new growth extending through implanted tissue grafts, and into the spinal cord and healthy tissue surrounding the injury site, according to Mark Tuszynski, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurosciences at UCSD and senior author of the study. The paper is published in the July 14 issue of the Journal of Neurosciences.



“Previous studies have demonstrated reduced lesion and scarring, tissue sparing and functional recovery after acute spinal cord injury,” said Tuszynski, who also has an appointment with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Diego. “This study shows unequivocally that axons can be stimulated to regenerate into a cell graft placed in a lesion site, and out again, into the spinal cord -- the potential basis for putting together a practical therapy.”

The successful regeneration followed complete lesion of the nerve site. The study, which targeted sensory axons, was not designed to test functional improvement.

Axon regeneration is one of the many challenges confronting spinal cord researchers. The axon is a critical communication path from the nerve cell, with many sensory axons extending from the spine to the brain. When the spine is severely damaged that connection is lost, and gaps form in the healed spine that fill with fluid, an environment that complicates regeneration efforts since axons can’t grow across the lesion cavity. Therefore, to be successful, regeneration therapy must stimulate growth and provide a scaffold that creates an appropriate environment to support axonal growth.

The most dramatic axonal growth seen in the UCSD study was in rats pre-treated with cyclic AMP (cAMP). The team injected cAMP, an important cellular messenger that regulates various metabolic processes, directly into the nerve cell nucleus before creating the lesions. After surgical severance of the spine, the injury site was implanted with a tissue bridge of bone marrow stromal cells and treated with neurotrophins (growth factor). In these rats, over a three-month period significant growth of axons was noted, extending into and beyond the tissue graft. Pre-treatment with cAMP could be a practical approach for treating patients with established, chronic spinal cord injuries, a possibility that is the subject of current study by the UCSD group.

Co-authors of the paper are Paul Lu, Ph.D., UCSD Department of Neurosciences; Leonard Jones Ph.D., UCSD Department of Neurosciences and Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Diego; and Marie T. Filbin, Ph.D., Biology Department, Hunter College, New York.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Administration, the Canadian Spinal Research Organization, and the Swiss Institute for Research into Paraplegia.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein
24.01.2017 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

nachricht Choreographing the microRNA-target dance
24.01.2017 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein

X-ray study throws light on key process for production

A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin

24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>