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Specific Protein is Instrumental in Myelination

boost the activity of this essential protein, we may be able to slow down injury and enhance myelination, continued Dr. Gallo.

Some day we may be able to repair brain damage and subsequent affects such as mental retardation, developmental disabilities or other disorders that result from incomplete myelination or white matter damage.

Myelination in humans begins in utero at around 5 months of gestation and continues throughout the first three years of life, but can be impaired for a number of reasons, most commonly intrauterine infection, reduced or interrupted blood flow (which carries oxygen and nutrients) to the forming infant brain, or perinatal injury.

These conditions affect up to 30 percent of preterm babies, many with severe motor and cognitive deficits, such as in patients affected by cerebral palsy.

Remyelination is a natural attempt by the brain to repair damage of the white matter; however the brain does not have the ability to completely repair itself.

Dr. Gallo and colleagues work used enhanced epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) protein and activity to clearly demonstrate the role that this molecule plays as a catalyst to the natural processes of proliferation and migration of progenitor cells, which are integral to white matter development and repair.

By first inserting enhanced EGFR protein and showing enhanced myelination/remyelination, and then using an EGFR protein with reduced biological activity and showing the decrease in myelination/remyelination Dr. Gallo and colleagues demonstrate that EGFR protein is an essential ingredient and that its signaling is instrumental in progenitor cell proliferation, migration, and in myelination and functional repair of white matter.

Dr. Gallos work reported in this paper specifically demonstrates the following: Progenitor cells in the peri-ventricular zone of the brain contribute to remy
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