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Glial cells assist in the repair of injured nerves
Date:1/28/2013

hwann cells cannot overcome this first major obstacle in the aftermath of nerve injury, the nerve cannot be adequately repaired," explains Ruth Stassart, one of the study authors.

To prevent this, the Schwann cells themselves take over the production of the actual neuronal signal molecule. After nerve damage, they synthesise the neuregulin1 protein until the axons have grown again. With the help of genetically modified mice, the researchers working on this study were able to show that the neuregulin1 produced in Schwann cells is necessary for the new maturation of the Schwann cells and the regeneration of the myelin sheath after injury. "In mice that lack the neuregulin1 gene in their Schwann cells, the already incomplete nerve regeneration process is extensively impaired," explains co-author Robert Fledrich.

The researchers would now like to examine in greater detail how the Schwann cells contribute to the complete repair of myelinated axons after nerve damage, so that this information can also be used for therapeutic purposes.


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Contact: Prof Klaus-Armin Nave
nave@em.mpg.de
49-551-389-9757
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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