Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blood Clotting Protein May Inhibit Spinal Cord Regeneration

Date:
July 6, 2007
Source:
University of California - San Diego
Summary:
Fibrinogen, a blood-clotting protein found in circulating blood, has been found to inhibit the growth of central nervous system neuronal cells, a process that is necessary for the regeneration of the spinal cord after traumatic injury. The findings may explain why the human body is unable to repair itself after most spinal cord injuries.

Fibrinogen, a blood-clotting protein found in circulating blood, has been found to inhibit the growth of central nervous system neuronal cells, a process that is necessary for the regeneration of the spinal cord after traumatic injury. The findings by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, may explain why the human body is unable to repair itself after most spinal cord injuries.

The study, led by Katerina Akassoglou, Ph.D., assistant professor in UCSD's Department of Pharmacology, is the first evidence that when blood leaks into the nervous system, the blood protein contributes to the neurons' inability to repair themselves. The findings show the molecular link between vascular and neuronal damage during injury to the central nervous system.

The research team studied three types of spinal cord injuries in mice and rats which resulted in cellular and vascular damage, and leakage of fibrinogen from the blood vessels. Once injured, neurons cannot be repaired because of various inhibitors that are present in the brain and the spinal cord after damage, which results in a patient's paralysis. The researchers were surprised at the massive deposits of fibrinogen found at the sites of injury. That discovery led them to investigate the protein's effect on neuronal cells' ability to regenerate.

"Our study shows that fibrinogen directly affects neurons by inhibiting their ability for repair," said Akassoglou. Fibrinogen -- contained in the blood which leaks at the site of injury -- begins the process of inhibiting axonal growth by binding to the beta 3 integrin receptor. This binding, in turn, induces the activation of another receptor on the neuronal cells, called the epidermal growth factor receptor. When the second receptor is activated, it inhibits the axonal growth. Other inhibitors have been identified that use the same epidermal growth factor receptor, but this is the first blood-derived inhibitor that has been found.

The discovery may open the door to a possible strategy to improving recovery after spinal cord injury by discovering a way to block activation of neuronal receptors by fibrinogen. Identifying the specific inhibitors that impede the repair process could provide ways to regenerate and connect the damaged nerves and initiate recovery from paralysis after spinal cord injury.

"Inhibiting the damaging effects of fibrinogen on neurons may potentially facilitate repair in the nervous system after injury" said Akassoglou. A similar mechanism could be at work in other neurological diseases that result in paralysis, such as multiple sclerosis or hemorrhagic stroke, where blood vessels break and bleed into the brain. She added that such a therapeutic approach wouldn't interfere with fibrinogen's essential role in coagulation, because its blood-clotting mechanism depends on binding with a different receptor.

This research was published in the online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on July 2.

Additional contributors to the paper include first author Christian Schachtrup, Jerry Lu and Ben D. Sachs of UCSD's Department of Pharmacology, and Paul Lu, Jae K. Lee and Binhai Zheng of UCSD's Department of Neurosciences. The research was funded in part by grants from the German Research Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Institute of Neurologic Diseases and Stroke (NIH/NINDS) and the Christopher Reeve and Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation.


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. "Blood Clotting Protein May Inhibit Spinal Cord Regeneration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070703171831.htm>.
University of California - San Diego. (2007, July 6). Blood Clotting Protein May Inhibit Spinal Cord Regeneration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070703171831.htm
University of California - San Diego. "Blood Clotting Protein May Inhibit Spinal Cord Regeneration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070703171831.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