Navigation Links
Scientists discover a new way to enhance nerve growth following injury
Date:4/22/2014

New research published today out of the University of Calgary's Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) uncovers a mechanism to promote growth in damaged nerve cells as a means to restore connections after injury. Dr. Doug Zochodne and his team have discovered a key molecule that directly regulates nerve cell growth in the damaged nervous system. His study was published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, with lead authors Drs. Kim Christie and Anand Krishnan.

"We made the surprising discovery that a protein called Retinoblastoma (Rb) is present in adult neurons," explains Zochodne. "This protein appears to normally act as a brake preventing nerve growth. What we have shown is that by inactivating Rb, we can release the brake and coax nerves to grow much faster," says Zochodne, a professor in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences.

Zochodne and his team decided to look for Rb in nerve cells because of its known role in regulating cell growth elsewhere in the body.

"We know that cancer is characterized by excessive cell growth and we also know that Rb is often functioning abnormally in cancer," says Zochodne. "So if cancer is able to release this brake and increase cell growth, we thought we'd try to mimic this same action in nerve cells and encourage growth where we want it."

The researchers were able to shut down Rb for a short amount of time and did not observe any negative results, leading them to feel optimistic that this could one day be used as a safe treatment for patients suffering from nerve damage.

So far, Zochodne is only investigating this technique in the peripheral nervous system. Peripheral nerves connect the brain and spinal cord to the body and without them, there is no movement or sensation. Peripheral nerve damage can be incredibly debilitating, with patients experiencing symptoms like pain, tingling, numbness or difficulty coordinating hands, feet, arms or legs.

For example, diabetic neuropathy is more common than multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) combined. More than half of all diabetics have some form of nerve pain and currently there is no treatment to stop damage or reverse it.

Developing safe and effective therapies for conditions such as peripheral nerve disorders requires the ability to take investigations from cells in a petri dish to patients in a clinic. Zochodne and his team have been able to do that thanks in part to a preclinical facility that opened at the HBI in 2010. The Regeneration Unit in Neurobiology (RUN) was created through a partnership between the HBI, the University of Calgary and the Canada-Alberta Western Economic Partnership Agreement.

"The RUN facility has been critical for this research, says Zochodne. "It provides the resources and cutting-edge equipment that we need all in one facility. RUN has allowed us to take this idea from nerve cells, to animal models and eventually will help us investigate whether it could be a feasible treatment in humans. It's an incredible asset".


'/>"/>

Contact: Marta Cyperling
mcyperli@ucalgary.ca
403-210-3835
University of Calgary
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists find key steps linking dietary fats and colon cancer tumor growth
2. Stanford scientists identify source of most cases of invasive bladder cancer
3. Scientists discover brains anti-distraction system
4. Scientists find new way to fight malaria drug resistance
5. Stanford scientists develop playbook for reverse engineering tissue
6. Scientists unlock secrets of protein produced by disease-causing fungus
7. Kessler Foundation scientists receive Biogen Idec grant to study actual reality in MS
8. Scientists discover a number of novel genetic defects which cause oesophageal cancer
9. Scientists find potential target for treating mitochondrial disorders
10. Scientists describe gut bacteria that cause sepsis in preterm infants
11. Virginia Tech scientists out for blood when it comes to stopping malaria
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... Bio-Optronics, ... to meet the needs of its recent and anticipated growth. , Max Elbaz ... business development across widening market segments. Max joined the Bio-Optronics team in March. ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Plano, TX (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... Analytics’ on June 10, 2016 from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET. To ... GlobalHealth’s decision to start a proactive outreach program built on Big Data with a ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... Celebrating their 20th anniversary this ... repair services for MadgeTech data loggers. These qualifications translate to excellent customer service ... MadgeTech's most praised and valued distributors. , Metcal is now offering the ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... , ... ... DMG Productions announced today the upcoming airing of Innovations ... May 28, 2016 at 4:00pET via Fox Business. , ... creating disruptive innovation to safely and rapidly develop cures ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... media enterprise focused on patients with cancer, is increasing its content providers with ... Awareness Association to its Advocacy Spotlight Partnership program. , As ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... -- Non-invasive diagnostic test realizes the potential ... to be presented at Yissum’s booth, at IATI-BIOMED 2016 ... of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced today ... Ventures MKI, the technology investment arm of Morris Kahn ... for early detection of multiple diseases by analyzing circulating ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... The global  reprocessed medical devices ... 2022, according to a new study by Grand View ... with the lack of centralized support for waste disposal ... demand for reprocessed medical devices market. Additionally, the long-term ... of the original device is the high impact rendering ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... May 20, 2016 ReportsnReports.com ... to Medical Devices of its online business intelligence ... on the current state of the Titrator industry. ... industry like definitions, classifications, Specifications, applications and industry ... process like Raw Material Suppliers, Equipment Suppliers, Manufacturing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: