Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New component of the ’brakes’ on nerve regeneration found

03.02.2005


Among the principal obstacles to regenerating spinal cord and brain cells after injury is the "braking" machinery in neurons that prevents regeneration. While peripheral nerves have no such machinery and can readily regenerate, central nervous system (CNS) neurons have their brakes firmly in place and locked.



Now, two groups of scientists have independently found a new component of that braking machinery, adding to understanding of the regulation of neuronal regeneration and of possible treatments to switch off the brakes on regrowth of spinal cord or brain tissue.

The two groups--one group led by Jong Bae Park, Glenn Yiu, and colleagues from Children’s Hospital Boston and the other led by Sha Mi and colleagues of Biogen Idec, Inc.--discovered that a protein variously called TAJ or TROY acts as an important part of the receptor on neurons that responds to growth-inhibitory molecules in myelin. Specifically, these molecules prevent the growth of the cablelike axons of injured neurons. Myelin is the fatty sheath that encases neurons and acts as an insulator and aid to the transmission of nerve impulses.


Researchers knew that CNS neurons had receptors on their surface that accepted the inhibitory molecules--like a key fitting a lock--and switched-on inhibitory signaling within the neuron. They had also shown that a protein called p75 could function as a component of the complex of proteins that make up this receptor. The puzzle, however, was that p75 is not widely made in the adult neurons in which this inhibitory receptor complex is known to function.

The two research groups turned their attention to TAJ/TROY because it is a member of the same family of receptor proteins--called TNF receptors--as p75. Their experiments revealed that TAJ/TROY is produced throughout the adult brains of mice. Also, they found that TAJ/TROY readily fits into the inhibitory receptor complex and that the resulting receptor complex switches-on the inhibitory machinery within neurons. Also, they found that treating neurons with a nonfunctional version of TAJ/TROY abolished neurons’ response to the "braking" molecules produced by myelin and encouraged neuron growth.

"Given the limited expression of p75, the discovery of TAJ function is an important step for understanding the regulation of axon regeneration," wrote Mi and colleagues.

Wrote Park and colleagues, "The implication that more than one TNF receptor member may be involved in myelin inhibition adds a new level of complexity to designing therapeutic strategies for treating CNS injury." They cited studies showing that TNF receptors are expressed in many types of cells in the CNS and are intimately involved in inflammatory responses that also play a role--perhaps harmful, perhaps beneficial to regeneration or recovery--in regulating response to injury. "Further characterization of the underlying mechanisms of these findings and their relation to myelin inhibition may provide important insights into designing therapeutic strategies to block myelin inhibition and cell death in the context of CNS injury," they wrote.

Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cell.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Complementing conventional antibiotics
24.05.2018 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>