Navigation Links
Decoy pill saves brain cells

Tricking a key enzyme can soothe over-excited receptors in the brain, say neuroscientists, calling this a possible strategy against stroke, Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Lead author Michel Baudry of the University of Southern California, his graduate student Wei Xu and collaborators from the University of British Columbia outline their technique in the Feb. 1 issue of Neuron.

The researchers injected laboratory mice with a decoy peptide containing a snippet of a receptor that facilitates cell death in neurodegenerative diseases.

They hoped the toxic enzyme calpain would latch on to the decoy instead of the actual receptor, averting brain damage.

As a test, the researchers then injected the mice with kainic acid, a chemical known to cause seizures and neuron death.

While seizures still occurred, as in control mice, no brain lesions were observed in the subjects.

"We eliminate a big chunk of neuronal death," Baudry said. "I was surprised that this works. It looks like the peptide is almost completely neuroprotective."

Baudry, one of USC’s most frequently cited researchers, has been studying calpain and other chemicals in the brain for more than 20 years.

Scientists have known for decades that the neurotransmitter glutamate, which tells neurons to fire, can also destroy them. If over-activated, glutamate receptors start a chain reaction that raises the concentration of calcium and activates calpain, among other toxic enzymes.

But Baudry and Xu observed that in one receptor, mGluR1?, the situation is even worse. Under normal conditions, this receptor is neuroprotective. However, calpain truncates it and makes it neurodegenerative in such a way as to start a positive feedback loop that leads to ever-higher levels of calcium and continuous calpain activation.

In addition, by cutting mGluR1?, calpain eliminates its neuroprotective function.

The d ecoy, developed by Xu, reversed the outcomes. By tricking calpain, it prevented damage to the receptor and allowed the beneficial reaction to continue. In addition, it interrupted the feedback loop that stoked calpain activation.

"This is potentially a treatment for any conditions that involve this kind of excitotoxicity," Baudry said, and especially, he added, for the "window of opportunity" in the few hours after a stroke.

While a stroke kills some brain cells right away, others take much longer to die. If the stroke triggered a calcium-calpain feedback loop, treatment with decoy peptides might save some cells, Baudry said.

His group plans to test the treatment in a stroke model in mice.
'"/>

Source:University of Southern California


Related biology news :

1. Shark skin saves naval industry money
2. Controversial drug shown to act on brain protein to cut alcohol use
3. Mouse brain cells rapidly recover after Alzheimers plaques are cleared
4. Mouse brain tumors mimic those in human genetic disorder
5. New imaging method gives early indication if brain cancer therapy is effective, U-M study shows
6. First atlas of key brain genes could speed research on cancer, neurological diseases
7. NYU study reveals how brains immune system fights viral encephalitis
8. Stem cells from brain transformed to produce insulin at Stanford
9. Birds brains reveal source of songs
10. Loves all in the brain: fMRI study shows strong, lateralized reward, not sex, drive
11. Revolutionary nanotechnology illuminates brain cells at work

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/23/2017)... May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the rehabilitation ... officially launched in Genoa, Italy . The first 30 ... and the USA . The technology was developed and ... by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million euro ... Release, please click: ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... The global military biometrics market ... by the presence of several large global players. The ... major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, M2SYS Technology, ... 61% of the global military biometric market in 2016. ... military biometrics market boast global presence, which has catapulted ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Fla. , April 11, 2017 ... and secure authentication solutions, today announced that it ... Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop ... Thor program. "Innovation has been a ... IARPA,s Thor program will allow us to innovate ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... ... Koch Agronomic Services (Koch) to feature new innovations aimed at helping farmers solve ... quarter 2018. American Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. Check your local ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... ... Diversity focused business accelerator, The Refinery , announced today they are ... top technology-driven, women-led startups in Boston, MA, New Haven/Hamden, CT, and Newark, NJ. ... on that week – in Boston, it will be part of the City of ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) , ... September 20, 2017 ... ... for digital pathology, and Huron Digital Pathology , a provider of whole ... Association’s 2017 Pathology Visions conference . The workshop, entitled “Successfully Deploying a Best-in-Class ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... September 20, 2017 , ... From industry ... therapy succeeded after standard medicine failed. Many of these people had lost all hope. ... Regression Free Download (pdf) , “Neil takes readers on ...
Breaking Biology Technology: