Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When injured muscles mistakenly grow bones: Researchers discover brain chemical that causes strange, serious complication

Date:
July 21, 2011
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
For hundreds of thousands of people, injuring a muscle through an accident like falling off a bike or having surgery can result in a strange and serious complication. Their muscles start growing bones. New research shows a neuropeptide called Substance P appears to trigger the formation of the extraskeletal bone. Eliminating Substance P prevents the bone growth, offering a new drug target to prevent and treat the bone growth.

For hundreds of thousands of people, injuring a muscle through an accident like falling off a bike or having surgery can result in a strange and serious complication. Their muscles start growing bones.

Related Articles


No one understood what caused the abnormal bone growth, so there was no treatment. But now, research from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania shows that a neuropeptide in the brain called Substance P appears to trigger the formation of the extraskeletal bone. Eliminating Substance P prevents the bone growth.

The discovery -- in human and animal tissues -- offers a molecular target for drugs to potentially prevent and treat the abnormal bone growth, which is called heterotopic ossification.

"Patients who have it become very uncomfortable, and there is no way to make it go away," said Jack Kessler, M.D., chair of neurology at Northwestern's Feinberg School, a neurologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the senior author of the paper, which was published in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. "This explains why it happens and gives us a way to develop a therapy to potentially treat it."

Lixin Kan, research associate professor at Feinberg and lead author of the paper, found that Substance P is dramatically increased in newly damaged tissue of patients who have the more common heterotopic ossification as well as a rarer and debilitating genetic disease. In the genetic disease, connective tissue begins to ossify and turn into bone. It's called fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP).

In the paper, Kan reports that knocking out Substance P in animals prevented the development of the extraskeletal bone in an animal model.

"This work establishes a common mechanism underlying lesion induction for nearly all forms of heterotopic ossification including brain and spinal cord injury, peripheral nerve injury, athletic injury, total hip replacement and FOP," said paper co-author Frederick Kaplan, the Isaac & Rose Nassau Professor of Orthopaedic Molecular Medicine at Penn's Perelman School. "These novel findings usher in a new era in understanding of these complex disorders."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lixin Kan, Vitali Y Lounev, Robert J Pignolo, Lishu Duan, Yijie Liu, Stuart R Stock, Tammy L McGuire, Bao Lu, Norma P Gerard, Eileen M Shore, Frederick S Kaplan, John A Kessler. Substance P signaling mediates BMP dependent heterotopic ossification. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 2011; DOI: 10.1002/jcb.23259

Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "When injured muscles mistakenly grow bones: Researchers discover brain chemical that causes strange, serious complication." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110720142456.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2011, July 21). When injured muscles mistakenly grow bones: Researchers discover brain chemical that causes strange, serious complication. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110720142456.htm
Northwestern University. "When injured muscles mistakenly grow bones: Researchers discover brain chemical that causes strange, serious complication." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110720142456.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). 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