Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

To fix diabetic nerve damage, blood vessels and support cells may be the real targets of treatment

24.06.2011
Results may provide new strategy to prevent amputations

Blood vessels and supporting cells appear to be pivotal partners in repairing nerves ravaged by diabetic neuropathy, and nurturing their partnership with nerve cells might make the difference between success and failure in experimental efforts to regrow damaged nerves, Johns Hopkins researchers report in a new study.

About 20 percent of diabetics experience neuropathy, a painful tingling, burning or numbness in the hands and feet that reflects damage to nerves and sometimes leads to infections and amputation of the toes, fingers, hands and feet over time. Current treatments for diabetic neuropathy focus on relieving symptoms, but don’t address the root cause by repairing nerve damage. Previous research has shown that nerve cells’ long extensions, known as axons, regenerate slowly in diabetics, scuttling various experiments to regrow healthy nerves, explains study leader Michael Polydefkis, M.D., M.H.S., associate professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Searching for the reasons behind this slow regeneration, Polydefkis, along with Johns Hopkins assistant professor of neurology Gigi Ebenezer, M.B.B.S., M.D., and their colleagues recruited 10 patients with diabetic neuropathy and 10 healthy people of similar ages and took tiny (3 millimeters) “punch” biopsies from the skin of each participant’s thigh. Several months later, they took 4 mm biopsies from the same site to see how the nerves, blood vessels and nerve-supporting cells, called Schwann cells, were growing back into the healing biopsy site.

In both the neuropathy patients and the healthy individuals, results reported in the June issue of Brain showed that the first to grow into the healing skin were blood vessels, followed soon after by Schwann cells and then axons, which appeared to use the blood vessels as scaffolds. However, the entire process was significantly delayed for the neuropathy patients. Not only was axon regeneration slower compared to the healthy patients, as expected, but blood vessel growth rate was also slower, and fewer Schwann cells accompanied the growing axons into the healing skin.

“Our results suggest that regenerative abnormalities associated with diabetes are widespread,” Polydefkis says. “They’re not just affecting nerves—they’re also affecting blood vessel growth and Schwann cell proliferation.”

Additionally, he says, the findings could explain why blood vessel-related problems, such as heart attacks and strokes, often accompany diabetes. Slowed regeneration of damaged blood vessels could contribute to these conditions as well, he explains.

Polydefkis says the findings provide potential new targets for treating neuropathy and vascular problems. By promoting blood vessel and Schwann cell growth, researchers might be able to speed up axon regeneration and successfully repair damaged nerves and blood vessels, potentially combating diabetic neuropathy and vascular complications simultaneously.

For more information:

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/experts/profiles/
team_member_profile/8F9C6CF190557439AEBE1CC526273551/Michael_Polydefkis
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/experts/profiles/
team_member_profile/71E07EEF173725F5DAB48EB31D5DC25F/Gigi_Ebenezer
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/
Media Contact: Christen Brownlee
410-955-7832; cbrownlee@jhmi.edu

Christen Brownlee | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhmi.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>