Although the research has been carried out using mice and cultured cells, it could lead to a new medicine for human beings, which could be given to patients who have had a stroke or other disorders that damage or destroy the nerve cells.
"Our research findings show that it could be possible to use molecules that are similar to the peptide C3a to boost the formation of nerve cells and stimulate the replacement of nerve cells lost due to injury or illness," says senior lecturer Marcela Pekna who headed the research group at the Sahlgrenska Academy.The peptide C3a is generated through the activation of the complement system, a group of proteins in the blood that is essential for the body's immune defence.
"Our research group was the first in the world to show that the complement system also plays an important role in the repair and regeneration of the brain," says Pekna. "This was a surprising discovery that opened up a whole new field of research."NEW NERVE CELLS
Authors: Noriko Shinjyo, Anders Ståhlberg, Mike Dragunow, Milos Pekny, Marcela Pekna
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