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 Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis
23.01.2017 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>