Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Variations On Old Drugs Promote Nerve Regeneration

Date:
April 2, 1997
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Researchers at Johns Hopkins and Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc., have successfully modified a group of established drugs to stimulate nerve growth without suppressing the immune system.

April 2, 1997

Researchers at Johns Hopkins and Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc., have successfullymodified a group of established drugs to stimulate nerve growth without suppressing theimmune system.

The researchers say the development is a critical step toward using the newcompounds as treatments for a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson'sdisease or multiple sclerosis, or brain injuries from stroke or head trauma.

"We showed that these compounds can cause recovery of functions and behaviorspreviously lost to nerve damage in lab animals," says Solomon Snyder, M.D., Hopkinsdirector of neuroscience and principal author on the paper, which appears in this month'sNature Medicine.

"We believe this is the first demonstration through an orally administered treatment ofa significant regenerative effect on nerve cells without suppression of the immune system."

Immunosuppressive drugs like cyclosporin A and rapamycin were originallydeveloped to prevent a patient's immune system from rejecting an organ transplant. Whenresearchers looked for the compounds immunosuppressive drugs bind to in the body, theyfound a group of proteins called immunophilins.

"These are proteins frequently used by the cell for what we call signal transduction,"explains Snyder. "They bind to something outside the cell, and as a result of that bindingcause changes inside the cell--make it less likely that an immune cell will proliferate, forexample."

Hopkins scientists discovered that brain cells have 10 to 50 times more immunophilinsthan immune cells and that immunophilins in the brain are linked to a variety of importantnerve cell functions, including the ability to regenerate lost branches of the cell and generatenew branches.

Immunosuppressive drugs bind to immunophilins; together, the two interact with aprotein called calcineurin to suppress the immune system. Researchers at Hopkins andGuilford, using new techniques from molecular biology and a field called combinatorialchemistry, attached chemical structures to the drugs that prevented them from binding tocalcineurin but did not affect their ability to attach to immunophilins.

Scientists at Hopkins and Guilford put the new drugs to the test alongside the originalimmunosuppressive drugs, first in studies of chicken nerve cells in the lab, and later in ratswhose sciatic nerve had been crushed. There was no significant difference in the new drugs'ability to stimulate growth of new nerve cell branches and cause regeneration of lost branches.

"The new drugs were even able to regenerate the protective myelin sheath surroundingthe branch, which is critical to recovery of function," says Snyder.

Representatives from Guilford hope to begin clinical trials of some of the new drugs ina year or more. Guilford is a private biopharmaceutical company based in Baltimore.

Under an agreement between Johns Hopkins University and Guilford, Snyder and TedDawson, M.D., Ph.D., another Hopkins author on the Nature Medicine paper, are entitled to ashare of royalties received by the University from Guilford. The University owns stock inGuilford, with Snyder and Dawson having an interest in the University share under Universitypolicy. Snyder serves on the Board of Directors and the Scientific Advisory Board ofGuilford, is a consultant to the company, and owns additional equity in Guilford. Thisarrangement is being managed by the Johns Hopkins University in accordance with its conflictof interest policies.

Other authors on the Nature Medicine paper were Joseph Steiner, Maureen Connolly,Greg Hamilton and Heather Valentine, of Guilford; and, Ted Dawson, and Lynda Hester ofHopkins. The studies were funded by Guilford and the National Institutes of Health.

--JHMI--

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions' news releases are available on a PRE-EMBARGOED basis onEurekAlert at http://www.eurekalert.org and from the Office of Communications and Public Affairs'direct e-mail news release service. To enroll, call 410-955-4288 or send e-mail tobpalevic@welchlink.welch.jhu.edu or 76520.560@compuserve.com.

On a POST-EMBARGOED basis find them at http://hopkins.med.jhu.edu,http://infonet.welch.jhu.edu/news/news_releases, Newswise at http://www.ari.net/newswise or onCompuServe in the SciNews-MedNews library of the Journalism Forum under file extension ".JHM",Quadnet at http://www.quad-net.com or ScienceDaily at http://www.sciencedaily.com.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "New Variations On Old Drugs Promote Nerve Regeneration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/04/970402161458.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (1997, April 2). New Variations On Old Drugs Promote Nerve Regeneration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/04/970402161458.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "New Variations On Old Drugs Promote Nerve Regeneration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/04/970402161458.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins