Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cell death following blood 'reflow' injury tracked to natural toxin

01.12.2006
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered what they believe is the "smoking gun" responsible for most tissue and organ damage after a period of blood oxygen loss followed by a sudden restoration of blood oxygen flow.

Working with mice, the Hopkins team found that the sudden oxygen bath triggered by restored blood flow causes cells to make a chemical so toxic it kills the cells. The work was published in two papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last week.

Although not sure why it happens, the Hopkins scientists believe the toxic chemical, PAR-polymer, acts like a molecular sledgehammer, or a death switch. "We've found evidence of it in cells following all types of injury," says Ted Dawson, M.D., Ph.D., the Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Professor of Neurodegenerative Diseases, professor of neurology and co-director of Hopkins' Neuroregeneration and Repair Program in the Institute of Cell Engineering (ICE).

The research team has named the cell death process caused by PAR-polymer "parthanatos," after Thanatos, the personification of death from Greek mythology.

To establish that PAR-polymer is indeed the culprit in the kind of reperfusion injuries long linked to heart attacks, strokes and a variety of blood vessel injuries, the researchers pumped mouse nerve cells full of PAR-polymer. The cells died, but to be sure PAR-polymer (and not something else) killed them, they examined the brains of mice engineered to lack an enzyme that chews up and gets rid of PAR. These mouse brains contained twice as much PAR-polymer as those of normal mice.

After the researchers induced a blood clot injury like a stroke, the same mice showed a 62 percent increase in the area of brain damage compared to normal littermates. Mice that contain more of the PAR-chewing enzyme suffered less brain damage than their normal littermates.

To figure out what triggers the death switch, the researchers tracked PAR-polymer's journey after cells made it. After 15 minutes, PAR-polymer hadn't gone anywhere. But after 30 to 60 minutes, the researchers discovered that much of it traveled right to areas where the switch normally resides.

The fate of the cell is irreversible once PAR-polymer sets off the trigger, says Valina Dawson, Ph.D., professor of neurology, co-director of the Neuroregeneration and Repair Program and author of the papers. "If we could figure out how to block PAR-polymer, we could design drugs that protect the switch and prevent cells from dying after heart attacks, stroke or other injuries," she says.

Audrey Huang | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhmi.edu
http://www.neuroice.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>