Navigation Links
MU research sheds light on nerve regeneration following spinal cord injury
Date:11/21/2013

COLUMBIA, Mo. Fish, unlike humans, can regenerate nerve connections and recover normal mobility following an injury to their spinal cord. Now, University of Missouri researchers have discovered how the sea lamprey, an eel-like fish, regrows the neurons that comprise the long nerve "highways" that link the brain to the spinal cord. Findings may guide future efforts to promote recovery in humans who have suffered spinal cord injuries.

"There is a lot of attention to why, following a spinal cord injury, neurons regenerate in lower vertebrates, such as the sea lamprey, and why they don't in higher vertebrates, such as humans," said Andrew McClellan, professor of biological sciences in the College of Arts and Science and director of the MU Spinal Cord Injury Program.

The study focuses on the regrowth of a particular group of nerve cells called reticulospinal neurons, which are necessary for locomotion. These neurons are found in the hindbrain, or the brainstem, and send signals to the spinal cord of all vertebrates to control movements of the body, such as locomotor behavior. When these nerve cells are damaged by a spinal cord injury, the animal is unable to move below the level of injury. While humans and other higher vertebrates would be permanently paralyzed, the sea lamprey and other lower vertebrates have the ability to regrow these neurons and recover the ability to move within a few short weeks.

In the study, McClellan and his colleagues isolated and removed injured reticulospinal neurons from sea lamprey and grew them in cultures. They applied chemicals that activated a group of molecules, called second messengers, to see what effects they had on these neurons' growth. They discovered that activation of cyclic AMP, a molecule that relays chemical signals inside cells, acted somewhat like an "on" switchessentially converting neurons from a non-growing state to a growing one. However, it had no effect on neurons that had already begun to grow.

McClellan says that the information learned from the study may shed light on studies of neural regeneration in mammals, including humans.

"In mammals, cyclic AMP does appear to enhance neural regeneration within the central nervous system in an environment that normally inhibits regeneration," McClellan said. "Cyclic AMP seems to be able to overcome some of these inhibitory factors and promotes at least some regeneration. Hopefully our studies with the lamprey can provide a list of conditions that are important for neural regeneration to help guide therapies in higher vertebrates, and possibly in humans."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeff Sossamon
sossamonj@missouri.edu
573-882-3346
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Researchers gain fuller picture of cell protein reactions
2. Scripps oceanography researchers engineer breakthrough for biofuel production
3. USF researchers show invasive sparrows immune cells sharpen as they spread
4. Researchers use CT and 3-D printers to recreate dinosaur fossils
5. Natural compound mitigates effects of methamphetamine abuse, University of Missouri researchers find
6. Researchers classify urban residential desert landscapes
7. Researchers test effects of LEDs on leaf lettuce
8. Researchers develop new approach to identify possible ecological effects of releasing genetically engineered insects
9. Researchers capture structure of key part of deadly Nipah virus
10. Researchers identify main genes responsible for asthma attacks in children
11. Bait research focused on outsmarting destructive beetle
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
MU research sheds light on nerve regeneration following spinal cord injury
(Date:8/23/2017)... ARMONK, N.Y. , Aug. 23, 2017  The general public,s help ... the human microbiome—the bacteria that live in and on the human body ... ... bacteria in the human microbiome, starting with the gut. The project's goal ... in disease. Photo credit: IBM ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... 20, 2017 Delta (NYSE: DAL ) customers now ... aircraft at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). ... Delta launches biometrics to board aircraft at ... Delta,s biometric boarding pass experience ... is now integrated into the boarding process to allow eligible Delta SkyMiles ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... and ITHACA, N.Y. , June 23, ... University, a leader in dairy research, today announced a ... to help reduce the chances that the global milk ... of this dairy project, Cornell University has become the ... the Food Supply Chain, a food safety initiative that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... BARBARA, CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 ... ... management, technological innovation and business process optimization firm for the life sciences and ... BoxWorks conference in San Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting in North ... in Harvard University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ... winning team for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... Hi-C-based genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the ... and accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... YORBA LINDA, CA (PRWEB) , ... October 05, 2017 , ... ... tech innovators, engineers, and scientists from around the world, is giving back to cancer ... shirt sold in October. , Now through October 31, shoppers can use promo ...
Breaking Biology Technology: