Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tetanus Toxin Found To Have Therapeutic Properties

Date:
June 15, 2005
Source:
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Summary:
A team of researchers from the Universitat Auṭnoma de Barcelona has discovered that tetanus toxin, which causes tetanus, could be extremely useful as a therapy against psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety and anorexia, and to slow the progress of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

A team of researchers from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Institute of Neuroscience at the Universitat Auṭnoma de Barcelona has discovered that tetanus toxin, which causes tetanus, could be extremely useful as a therapy against psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety and anorexia, and to slow the progress of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

Related Articles


Tetanus toxin is a neurotoxin belonging to the same family as botulinum neurotoxins, which cause botulism. These have been successfully used as a therapy to treat disorders caused by abnormal muscular contractions such as strabismus, cerebral palsy, anal contractions and torticollis. Recently these toxins have been used even in cosmetics against wrinkles. For these therapeutic and cosmetic applications, the scientists are working with sublethal doses of toxins.

Led by José Aguilera, scientists from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Institute of Neuroscience at the UAB, have studied whether it would also be possible to use sublethal doses of tetanus toxin and molecules derived from tetanus toxin for therapeutic purposes. The results have been obtained in the laboratory after 20 years of studying these toxins, and they are very encouraging.

Two separate, distinct parts form the tetanus toxin molecule: one part is the cause of the toxic effects and the tetanus symptoms; the other, however, is harmless and is able to penetrate and affect the nervous system. This harmless part, called the carboxy-terminal domain, has been reproduced in large quantities in the laboratory so that tests can be carried out on its effects on the nervous system of rats.

The experiments have shown that the harmless part inhibits serotonin from being transported through the synaptic membranes, i.e. the membranes that connect the neurones so that signals can be sent through the brain. The molecule is as effective as the selective inhibitors currently used, but they are more powerful, they last longer, and they are more specific. This inhibitory effect converts the molecule into what could be a drug with many uses. It would be more effective than Prozac and more effective than any drug that works by selectively inhibiting the transportation of serotonin in the nerve endings. Behavioural disorders such as depression, anxiety and anorexia may be treated using the molecule derived from tetanus toxin.

The researchers have also been able to show that toxin and its recombinant fragment, carboxy terminal, the harmless fragment, strengthens the neural cells and protects them from external aggressions. This means it has a neuroprotective effect that prevents the death of the neurons when they are faced with aggressive situations. This is why the scientists believe the harmless toxin fragment could be more effective than neurotrophins as protection against neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. "Tetanus Toxin Found To Have Therapeutic Properties." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050615060706.htm>.
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. (2005, June 15). Tetanus Toxin Found To Have Therapeutic Properties. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050615060706.htm
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. "Tetanus Toxin Found To Have Therapeutic Properties." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050615060706.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) — A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) — An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) — A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) — If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
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