Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nerve Cells Successfully Regenerated Following Spinal Cord Injury

Date:
July 14, 2004
Source:
University Of California, San Diego
Summary:
Using a combination of therapies and cell grafts, a team of University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine researchers has promoted significant regeneration of nerve cells in rats with spinal cord injury.

Using a combination of therapies and cell grafts, a team of University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine researchers has promoted significant regeneration of nerve cells in rats with spinal cord injury.

Related Articles


The therapeutic approach successfully stimulated new nerve fibers called axons to grow and extend well beyond the site of the injury into surrounding tissue, following surgically induced spinal cord damage.

These results prove that combinational therapy can promote the vigorous growth of new axons even after a complete lesion of the spinal cord cells, with the new growth extending through implanted tissue grafts, and into the spinal cord and healthy tissue surrounding the injury site, according to Mark Tuszynski, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurosciences at UCSD and senior author of the study. The paper is published in the July 14 issue of the Journal of Neurosciences.

“Previous studies have demonstrated reduced lesion and scarring, tissue sparing and functional recovery after acute spinal cord injury,” said Tuszynski, who also has an appointment with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Diego. “This study shows unequivocally that axons can be stimulated to regenerate into a cell graft placed in a lesion site, and out again, into the spinal cord -- the potential basis for putting together a practical therapy.”

The successful regeneration followed complete lesion of the nerve site. The study, which targeted sensory axons, was not designed to test functional improvement.

Axon regeneration is one of the many challenges confronting spinal cord researchers. The axon is a critical communication path from the nerve cell, with many sensory axons extending from the spine to the brain. When the spine is severely damaged that connection is lost, and gaps form in the healed spine that fill with fluid, an environment that complicates regeneration efforts since axons can’t grow across the lesion cavity. Therefore, to be successful, regeneration therapy must stimulate growth and provide a scaffold that creates an appropriate environment to support axonal growth.

The most dramatic axonal growth seen in the UCSD study was in rats pre-treated with cyclic AMP (cAMP). The team injected cAMP, an important cellular messenger

that regulates various metabolic processes, directly into the nerve cell nucleus before creating the lesions. After surgical severance of the spine, the injury site was implanted with a tissue bridge of bone marrow stromal cells and treated with neurotrophins (growth factor). In these rats, over a three-month period significant growth of axons was noted, extending into and beyond the tissue graft. Pre-treatment with cAMP could be a practical approach for treating patients with established, chronic spinal cord injuries, a possibility that is the subject of current study by the UCSD group.

Co-authors of the paper are Paul Lu, Ph.D., UCSD Department of Neurosciences; Leonard Jones Ph.D., UCSD Department of Neurosciences and Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Diego; and Marie T. Filbin, Ph.D., Biology Department, Hunter College, New York.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Administration, the Canadian Spinal Research Organization, and the Swiss Institute for Research into Paraplegia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California, San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California, San Diego. "Nerve Cells Successfully Regenerated Following Spinal Cord Injury." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040714085828.htm>.
University Of California, San Diego. (2004, July 14). Nerve Cells Successfully Regenerated Following Spinal Cord Injury. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040714085828.htm
University Of California, San Diego. "Nerve Cells Successfully Regenerated Following Spinal Cord Injury." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040714085828.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
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