Navigation Links
Toward a therapy to healing stroke

This release is available in German.

With 100 billion nerve cells, the brain is the most complex organ in the human body. "We want to understand the development program behind," says Dr. Steffen Scholpp from the ITG. "We want to find out how individual parts of the brain develop, this means, what makes precursor cells build a specialized area such as the thalamus." Scholpp's group at ITG studies the development of the thalamus. "It is the central interface between the brain and the outer world: Everything that is perceived via eyes, ears or the tactile sense has to pass the thalamus before it is routed to the cerebral cortex for further processing."

In the long term, the scientists want to be able to heal damaged brain parts by a tissue replacement therapy. If, for example, brain tissue is damaged after an infarct, is the body is not able to regenerate this tissue. "Today, stroke is the most frequent cause of disability acquired at adult age and due to its central role, damage of the thalamus is very serious," emphasizes Steffen Scholpp. "For this reason, we have to find a strategy to activate stem cells such that the damaged tissue can be replaced." Recently, an important step was made by the scientists: By studying zebrafish, they identified Lhx2 and Lhx9, the factors controlling the development of neurons in the thalamus. "Without these factors, the thalamus would accommodate undifferentiated nerve cells only this means, the precursory cells lack the information required for specialization," explains the biologist. Analysis of brain development in zebrafish allows conclusions to be drawn with respect to the development in all vertebrates, including human. The results of the group are published in the current issue of the PLoS Biology journal.

In the same study, Scholpp and his team identified another factor that acts as "adhesive" in the thalamus: The cell adhesion molecule Pcdh10b ensures development of the thalamus without mixing with the surrounding brain areas. If this factor is lacking, the neurons differentiate, but do not find their target destination. It is now the objective of the researchers to activate these factors in the cultivating dish (in vitro) in undifferentiated cells first for new thalamus tissue to form. In close cooperation with engineers, the biologists are already developing 2-dimensional cell culture systems. In January, they will start a 3D cell cultivation project. "KIT offers excellent opportunities: Parallel to our research, materials researchers work on the development of various biomaterials (biopolymers) which will be tested in the cultivation experiments", says Scholpp.

Dr. Steffen Scholpp thinks that it will be possible to heal stroke patients in the future. "Of course, this will take some years. But it is our ultimate goal to take out quiescent stem cells from a stroke patient and to switch on the specific development biology program in these cells outside of the body. Finally, we plan to bring them back to the position of the damaged tissue. This would be real healing."

Under the Emmy Noether program, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has granted funding in the amount of EUR 1.3 million to Dr. Steffen Scholpp for a duration of five years. The Emmy Noether program is designed to support young scientists in establishing an own working group. The team of Dr. Steffen Scholpp presently comprises one postdoctoral research fellow, three doctoral students, a technical employee, and two master students.


Contact: Monika Landgraf
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

Related biology news :

1. Taking the next step toward advanced artificial limbs
2. Thinking it through: Scientists call for policy to guide biofuels industry toward sustainability
3. Scientists announce major progress towards historic Census of Marine Life in 2010
4. Study a step toward disease-resistant crops, sustainability
5. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reports on the trend toward predictive toxicogenomics
6. Toward a systems biology map of iron metabolism
7. Attitudes towards assisted reproduction and preimplantation genetic diagnosis
8. NIST guides genetic genealogy labs toward improved accuracy
9. Scientists make strides toward defining genetic signature of Alzheimers disease
10. Milestone achieved toward production of malaria treatment using synthetic biology and fermentation
11. Oceans journey towards the center of the Earth
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Toward a therapy to healing stroke
(Date:4/3/2017)...  Data captured by IsoCode, IsoPlexis Corporation,s ... statistically significant association between the potency of ... objective response of cancer patients post-treatment. The ... cancer patients will respond to CAR-T cell ... to improve both pre-infusion potency testing and cell ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017 The research team of The Hong ... fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery and ... speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, ... ... A research team led ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 2017  higi, the health IT company that operates ... America , today announced a Series B investment ... EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy ... transform population health activities through the collection and workflow ... higi collects and secures data today on behalf of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Singh Biotechnology today announced that ... SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3) B VHH13 ... cross the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 and inhibit its function. Dysregulation ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... FirstHand program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand ... Excellence in Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017 SomaGenics announced the ... NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to be ... small RNAs (including microRNAs) from single cells using NGS ... the need to accelerate development of approaches to analyze ... "New techniques for measuring levels of mRNAs ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings ... mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell therapy ... limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ... of limbs saved as compared to standard bone ... molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
Breaking Biology Technology: