Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Reduced scarring helps nerves grow through spinal injuries

09.03.2004


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.


Researchers in the study infused decorin directly into the injury site in rats with a mini-pump system, which used silica cannulas 160 microns in diameter. Because the cannulas were so small, they did not contribute to the formation of scar tissue. Using a high-powered laser scanning microscope and protein chemistry to analyze tissue samples, Davies and co-workers were able to show that decorin infusion reduced inflammation, scar formation and the levels of some proteoglycans by 80-95 percent allowing nerve fibers (called axons) to grow across spinal cord injuries in just four days.

"We have found a promising new approach to control inflammation and scar formation, which will be an important part of future strategies to encourage axon regeneration and recovery after spinal cord injury," Davies said.


The work was supported by TIRR (The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research) Foundation’s Mission Connect and conducted in collaboration with scientists at Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation, The Burnham Institute and GTC Biotherapeutics Inc, who together developed the genetically engineered form of human decorin for use in the study.

Anissa Orr | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://research.bcm.tmc.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Routing gene therapy directly into the brain
07.12.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

nachricht New Hope for Cancer Therapies: Targeted Monitoring may help Improve Tumor Treatment
01.12.2017 | Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung / Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)

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: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>