Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Successfully Regenerate Transplanted Nerve Axons In Adult Animals

Date:
December 19, 1997
Source:
Case Western Reserve University
Summary:
Neuroscientists from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have shown that transplanted adult nerve cells can regenerate their axons in the adult rat brain's nerve fiber pathways, challenging long-held beliefs that this is impossible.

Findings, published in Nature, challenge long-held beliefs on adult nerve regeneration

CLEVELAND - Neuroscientists from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have shown that transplanted adult nerve cells can regenerate their axons in the adult rat brain's nerve fiber pathways, challenging long-held beliefs that this is impossible.

In their study, researchers found that nerve cells regenerated remarkably well and at relatively high rates of speed in 34 of 41 animals. Their paper is published in the December 18-25 issue of the journal Nature.

It is widely accepted that the adult mammalian central nervous system will not permit regeneration of nerve cell processes, called axons. In addition to physical or molecular barriers presented by scarring at a lesion site (such as a spinal cord injury), normal adult nerve pathways, which are insulated with white matter called the myelin sheath, are thought to be impenetrable to nerve regeneration. A 10-year old theory holds that the myelin sheath contains a type of cell which prohibits nerve regeneration.

Lead author Stephen J. A. Davies, a CWRU research associate, and colleagues removed dorsal root ganglion neurons from adult donor animals and then used a unique microtransplantation system to transplant them into the brain's nerve pathways of other adult animals. They witnessed rapid growth (1 millimeter per day) and saw that 80 percent of the cells were able to extend axon processes all the way into the brain's gray matter where they branched off in new directions, acting like normal nerve cells.

"These results were totally unexpected. There is a huge potential for regeneration in the adult white matter tracks of the central nervous system, at least with the nerve cells that we've used so far," said Jerry Silver, Ph.D., professor of neurosciences at CWRU and senior author of the study. "There's not a minimal potential. It's enormous."

The scientists believe that their method of transplantation played a key role in their results. Davies, a research associate in Silver's lab, developed the method, which introduces the nerve cells with little or no trauma to them or the host brain. The minimization of scarring may be important because the researchers found scar tissue around the transplanted cells in the study's seven animals that did not regenerate nerve cells. Within the scar tissue, they found a type of inhibitory molecule called chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan.

"In the failed transplants," said Davies, "every single regrowing axon had either stopped within the proteoglycan rich boundary or had actively turned away from the boundary and looped back into the transplant interior."

Silver said, "It gives great hope that regeneration might be possible, if we can learn how to breach the immediate vicinity of the lesion by building a bridge across that zone or breaking down the inhibitory scar molecules, we may get regeneration beyond what we ever dreamed possible."

Other authors on the study are M.T. Fitch, S.P. Memberg, and A.K. Hall of the Department of Neurosciences at CWRU's School of Medicine; and G. Raisman of the Norma and Sadi Lee Research Centre in the National Institute for Medical Research's Division of Neurobiology in London. Davies is also affiliated with this research center.

The research is funded by the International Spinal Research Trust, David Heumann Fund, Brumagin Memorial Fund, and the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Case Western Reserve University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Case Western Reserve University. "Researchers Successfully Regenerate Transplanted Nerve Axons In Adult Animals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 December 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971219063213.htm>.
Case Western Reserve University. (1997, December 19). Researchers Successfully Regenerate Transplanted Nerve Axons In Adult Animals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971219063213.htm
Case Western Reserve University. "Researchers Successfully Regenerate Transplanted Nerve Axons In Adult Animals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971219063213.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

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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