Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UNC Scientists Discover Molecular Pathway Leading To Nerve Growth And Regeneration

Date:
July 5, 2004
Source:
University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine
Summary:
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered key steps involved in regulating nerve growth and regeneration that may have implications for spinal cord research.

CHAPEL HILL -- Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered key steps involved in regulating nerve growth and regeneration that may have implications for spinal cord research.

The new research, published in the June 24 issue of the journal Neuron, for the first time describes how nerve growth factor (NGF) stimulates a sequence of proteins – a molecular pathway – that promotes nerve growth.

"It is the first study to show the link between NGF and the building blocks that form the axon," said Dr. William Snider, professor of neurology and cell and molecular physiology at UNC's School of Medicine and director of the UNC Neuroscience Center.

Axons are long tendrils, or processes, that extend from nerve cells to form connections with other nerve cells, muscles and the skin.

Injury to the peripheral nervous system – that portion of the nervous system outside the brain and spinal cord – typically results in spontaneous regeneration and repair. However, this is not the case with the spinal cord, where disruption of connections from injury leads to paralysis.

"The results of this study allow us to know more about how to promote axon growth and regeneration in the spinal cord," said Dr. Fengquan Zhou, a postdoctoral fellow of the Spinal Cord Research Foundation who works in Snider's laboratory and is lead author of the study.

In addition, the findings may be important to understanding how the brain is wired, said Snider. "We think the findings may be relevant to axon growth in the brain."

In the study, Zhou took a novel approach to identifying missing links in the molecular pathway when he recognized that NGF stimulation occurred in the growth cone of the axon. This simplified a complex problem that had previously eluded others who did not focus on the growth cone.

Basically, in the pathway Zhou identified, NGF signals two proteins (PI3K and GSK-3beta and PI3K) that, in turn, regulate another protein, APC, to assemble the axon from its building blocks called microtubules.

"This work helps us understand how an axon is put together and gives us a new idea about how we might make it happen after a spinal cord injury."

The study was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a component of the National Institutes of Health.

Co-authors with Zhou and Snider are Yaohong Wu, also of the UNC Neuroscience Center, and Dr. Shoukat Dedhar of the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Canada.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine. "UNC Scientists Discover Molecular Pathway Leading To Nerve Growth And Regeneration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 July 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040701085354.htm>.
University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine. (2004, July 5). UNC Scientists Discover Molecular Pathway Leading To Nerve Growth And Regeneration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040701085354.htm
University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine. "UNC Scientists Discover Molecular Pathway Leading To Nerve Growth And Regeneration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040701085354.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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