Infusing a naturally occurring anti-scarring agent called decorin into the damaged spinal cords of rats suppresses key molecules that block nerve regeneration after spinal cord injury, said Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) researchers in a study published today in the European Journal of Neuroscience.
The researchers are the first to use decorin to suppress inflammation and scar formation in spinal cord injuries. "Scar tissue that develops at sites of injury stops the regeneration of connections in the adult central nervous system," said Dr. Stephen Davies, lead author on the study and an assistant professor of neurosurgery and neurosciences at BCM. "Infusion of decorin into spinal cord injuries prevents the formation of proteoglycan rich scar tissue by suppressing inflammation."
Misaligned scar tissue that forms at spinal cord injuries physically blocks nerve regeneration and contains molecules called chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans that inhibit nerve fiber growth. Decorin inhibits the action of pro - inflammatory molecules released in spinal cord injuries, called transforming growth factors, which are thought to promote the formation of scar tissue.
Anissa Orr | EurekAlert!
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