Navigation Links
Zebrafish reveal promising mechanism for healing spinal cord injury
Date:7/6/2012

BETHESDA, MD July 6, 2012 Yona Goldshmit, Ph.D., is a former physical therapist who worked in rehabilitation centers with spinal cord injury patients for many years before deciding to switch her focus to the underlying science.

"After a few years in the clinic, I realized that we don't really know what's going on," she said.

Now a scientist working with Peter Currie, Ph.D., at Monash University in Australia, Dr. Goldshmit is studying the mechanisms of spinal cord repair in zebrafish, which, unlike humans and other mammals, can regenerate their spinal cord following injury. On June 23 at the 2012 International Zebrafish Development and Genetics Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, she described a protein that may be a key difference between regeneration in fish and mammals.

One of the major barriers to spinal regeneration in mammals is a natural protective mechanism, which incongruously results in an unfortunate side effect. After a spinal injury, nervous system cells called glia are activated and flood the area to seal the wound to protect the brain and spinal cord. In doing so, however, the glia create scar tissue that acts as a physical and chemical barrier, which prevents new nerves from growing through the injury site.

One striking difference between the glial cells in mammals and fish is the resulting shape: mammalian glia take on highly branched, star-like arrangements that appear to intertwine into dense tissue. Fish glia cells, by contrast, adopt a simple elongated shape called bipolar morphology that bridges the injury site and appears to help new nerve cells grow through the damaged area to heal the spinal cord.

"Zebrafish don't have so much inflammation and the injury is not so severe as in mammals, so we can actually see the pro-regenerative effects that can happen," Dr. Goldshmit explained.

Studies in mice have found that mammalian glia can take up the same elongated shape, but in response to the environment around the injury they instead mature into scar tissue that does not allow nerve regrowth.

Dr. Goldshmit and her colleagues have focused on a family of molecules called fibroblast growth factors (Fgf), which have shown some evidence of improving recovery in mice and humans with spinal cord damage. The Monash University group found that Fgf activity around the damage site promotes the bipolar glial shape and encourages nerve regeneration in zebrafish.

Preliminary results in mice show that Fgf injections near a spinal injury increase both the number of glia cells at the site and the elongated morphology. Their evidence suggests that Fgfs may work to create an environment more supportive of regeneration in mammals as well and could be a valuable therapeutic target.

Spinal injury patients usually have few options, Dr. Goldshmit emphasized, and development of new, biologically-based approaches will be critical.

"This is a nice example of how we can use the zebrafish model," she said. "When we learn from the zebrafish what to look at, we can find things that give us hope for finding therapeutic approaches for spinal cord injury in humans."


'/>"/>

Contact: Phyllis Edelman
pedelman@genetics-gsa.org
301-634-7302
Genetics Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Novel compound demonstrates anti-leukemic effect in zebrafish, shows promise for human treatment
2. Study reveals how cancer drug causes diabetic-like state
3. New Method to Reveal Alzheimers Marker Shows Promise
4. Study reveals major funding shortfall and high death rates for emergency laparotomy
5. Biomarkers can reveal IBS
6. A closer look at PARP-1 reveals potential new drug targets
7. Novel biomarkers reveal evidence of radiation exposure
8. Fruit flies reveal mechanism behind ALS-like disease
9. The Tennessee Car Accident Lawyers at Michael D. Ponce & Associates Alert Public of CDC Survey Revealing Majority of High School Seniors Admitting to Texting Behind Wheel
10. Researchers reveal crucial immune fighter role of the STING protein
11. Weirdest hCG Questions Revealed
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... North Cypress Medical Center hosted its 9th Annual Spring Classic ... help of community partners, the event organizers raised $45,000 for the Lone Survivor ... and their families through health, wellness, and therapeutic support. , A special military ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Power Systems, a leading developer and ... Certification Course in Stoughton, Massachusetts. The course was led by Power Systems’ Education ... hour interactive course to qualify participants as certified PowerWave trainers. , PowerWave ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... The introduction of our professional athletes coincides with the company’s new campaign: “LOOK ... are proud to introduce Meghan Klingenberg, defender and World Champion with the US Women’s ... Los Angeles who was a second round selection in the 2012 NFL draft. We ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Dr. LeRoy Perry’s recently authored whitepaper, ... mobile devices on the billions of users, hundreds of millions of whom are coming ... life threatening, the frequent and common action of looking down at hand-held technology devices ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... In Madeira Beach Florida, a small town ... drawbridge, citizens formed an organization, Madeira Beach United, to oppose two development projects undertaken ... town center to a high rise urban environment. , According to the Tampa ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016 ARANZ Medical  Ltd ... healthcare sector, has been named the Coretex Hi-Tech Emerging Company ... Dr Bruce Davey , CEO of ARANZ ...  It,s really good to be recognised for the work we ... are used in 35 countries around the world from Sub-Saharan ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 ... the world , s first dual ... fistula intervention   OrbusNeich, a global company ... expanded its portfolio to include products to treat peripheral ... the company,s first entry devices for lower limb and ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 Dutch surgeons have ... practices around the world and treat patients on a global scale. ... , Asia and the US have ... instant messaging and networking in a totally secure environment. ... a war zone working together with a surgeon at Harvard to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: