Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein injection points to muscular dystrophy treatment

27.11.2012
Scientists have discovered that injecting a novel human protein into muscle affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy significantly increases its size and strength, findings that could lead to a therapy akin to the use of insulin by diabetics.

These results were published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Dr. Julia von Maltzahn and Dr. Michael Rudnicki, the Ottawa scientist who discovered muscle stem cells in adults.

"This is an unprecedented and dramatic restoration in muscle strength," says Dr. Rudnicki, a senior scientist and director for the Regenerative Medicine Program and Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He is also a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Genetics and professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.

"We know from our previous work that this protein, called Wnt7a, promotes the growth and repair of healthy muscle tissue. In this study we show the same types of improvement in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We found that Wnt7a injections increased muscle strength almost two-fold, to nearly normal levels. We also found that the size of the muscle fibre increased and there was less muscle damage, compared to mice not given Wnt7a."

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder that affects one of every 3,500 newborn males. In Canada, all types of muscular dystrophy affect more than 50,000 people. The disease often progresses to a state where the muscles are so depleted that the person dies due to an inability to breath. For people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, this usually happens in their 20s or 30s.

"This is also exciting because we think it's a therapeutic approach that could apply to other muscle-wasting diseases," says Dr. Rudnicki.

Dr. Rudnicki's lab is a world leader in research on muscle stem cells. They have contributed significantly to our understanding of how these cells work at the molecular level. This basic research, which takes place in OHRI's multidisciplinary environment of collaboration with clinicians, led to the identification of Wnt7a as a promising candidate to help people with this muscle wasting disease.

Biotechnology partner, Fate Therapeutics is currently developing Wnt7a-based therapeutic candidates for treatment of muscular dystrophy and atrophy. Preclinical assessments are ongoing and the company plans to initiate clinical trials in the near future.

The full article, "Wnt7a treatment ameliorates muscular dystrophy," is available online ahead of print through the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences site.

This research was supported by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Fate Therapeutics and the Canada Research Chair Program. All research at OHRI is also supported by The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

Media Contact
Paddy Moore
Manager, Communications and Public Relations,
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
613-798-5555 ext. 73687
613-794-6912 (cell)
padmoore@ohri.ca
Néomie Duval
Media Relations Officer
University of Ottawa
613-562-5800 x2981
613-863-7221 (cell)
neomie.duval@uOttawa.ca
About the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI)

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the university's Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. OHRI includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Research at OHRI is supported by The Ottawa Hospital Foundation. www.ohri.ca
About the University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa is committed to research excellence and encourages an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge creation, which attracts the best academic talent from across Canada and around the world. It is an important stakeholder in the National Capital Region's economic development.

Paddy Moore | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ohri.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The cytoskeleton of neurons has been found to be involved in Alzheimer's disease
18.01.2019 | University of the Basque Country

nachricht Bioinspired nanoscale drug delivery method developed by WSU, PNNL researchers
10.01.2019 | Washington State University

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: Ten-year anniversary of the Neumayer Station III

The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research

Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI

The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...

Im Focus: Ultra ultrasound to transform new tech

World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles

The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.

Im Focus: Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.

In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...

Im Focus: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Additive manufacturing reflects fundamental metallurgical principles to create materials

18.01.2019 | Materials Sciences

How molecules teeter in a laser field

18.01.2019 | Life Sciences

The cytoskeleton of neurons has been found to be involved in Alzheimer's disease

18.01.2019 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>