Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Steroids May Reverse Loss Of Substance Tied To Nervous-System Diseases

Date:
October 5, 1998
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Steroids help to reduce inflammation, but University of Illinois scientists suggest they also could be used to reverse a loss of myelin -- a major problem in multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases and injuries associated with the central and peripheral nervous systems.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Steroids help to reduce inflammation, but University of Illinois scientists suggest they also could be used to reverse a loss of myelin -- a major problem in multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases and injuries associated with the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Treatment of MS already includes the use of steroids, because they relieve inflammation and speed remission. The new findings -- published in September's biochemistry section of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences -- indicate that the steroids dexamethasone and progesterone actually signal the initiation and dramatically increase the rate of myelin synthesis.

"I think this work is very important in that it helps clarify the signals that are responsible for the synthesis of myelin," said Jonah R. Chan, a doctoral student in the department of biochemistry and neuroscience program at the U. of I.

Myelin is a white substance made of fat and proteins that forms in a protective spiral sheath around the axon of nerve fibers. The sheath is a vital component of the body's efficient and rapid

nerve-communication system. When myelin fails to form, nerve signaling breaks down, jeopardizing nerve communications and leading to altered sensations and a multitude of other problems.

What causes a loss of myelin -- demyelination -- in MS cases is not known, but is believed to be the result of an abnormal immune response to bacteria and viruses. While MS affects everyone differently, demyelination is a focal point of research around the world.

"Steroids seem to be very important in regulating the initiation and synthesis," said Michael Glaser, professor of biochemistry and lead investigator of the project. "They had been implicated as having a role in the overall process, but not for enhancing the actual synthesis. It is our hope that this line of work will lead to a line of treatment for nerve injuries and demyelinating diseases."

Last year in the Journal of Neuroscience Research, Glaser's team reported the first technique for observing the continual synthesis of myelin by Schwann cells around axons of neurons. In their new work, researchers added various forms of steroids and antagonists, observing their effects on the cells under a fluorescence digital-imaging microscope. When dexamethasone and progesterone were added, individually, to the tissue culture cells, the initiation of myelin production began 24 hours earlier than it did under control conditions, and the peak rate of myelin formation increased by more than 2-fold.

Their findings provided the first live look at the signals initiating myelin formation in live cells, Glaser said. Before his new assay was developed, researchers were restricted to simply observing myelin at a single stage of production.

The PNAS paper was written by Chan, Glaser and Lornie J. Phillips II, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute predoctoral fellow. The research is supported by the Multiple Sclerosis Society.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Steroids May Reverse Loss Of Substance Tied To Nervous-System Diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981005074425.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (1998, October 5). Steroids May Reverse Loss Of Substance Tied To Nervous-System Diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981005074425.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Steroids May Reverse Loss Of Substance Tied To Nervous-System Diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981005074425.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
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