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Race to nerve regeneration: Faster is better

Date:
October 3, 2011
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Researchers have now identified a way to accelerate the regeneration of injured peripheral nerves in mice such that muscle function is restored in situations where it normally would not be. It is hoped that these data might one day translate into strategies that increase the rate of nerve growth to enhance functional recovery in patients after peripheral nerve damage.

A team of researchers led by Clifford Woolf and Chi Ma, at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, Boston, has identified a way to accelerate the regeneration of injured peripheral nerves in mice such that muscle function is restored.

In an accompanying commentary, Ahmet Hφke, at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, discusses the importance of this work to the clinical problem.

Our peripheral nerves connect our brain and spinal cord to the rest of our body, controlling all volitional muscle movements. However, they are fragile and very easily damaged. Peripheral nerves can regenerate after injury, and if the site of damage is close to the muscle controlled by the damaged nerve, full muscle function is frequently restored. However, if the site of damage is far from the muscle controlled by the damaged nerve, recovery of muscle function is minimal.

Woolf, Ma, and colleagues found that injured peripheral nerves grew faster in mice that overexpressed human heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27) than in normal mice. This enabled the peripheral nerves to form functional connections with their target muscle and led to recovery of muscle function. Clinical data are also provided to support the authors' suggestion that their work indicates that strategies that increase the rate of nerve growth may enhance functional recovery in patients after peripheral nerve damage.

The research is reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Chi Him Eddie Ma, Takao Omura, Enrique J. Cobos, Alban Latrιmoliθre, Nader Ghasemlou, Gary J. Brenner, Ed van Veen, Lee Barrett, Tomokazu Sawada, Fuying Gao, Giovanni Coppola, Frank Gertler, Michael Costigan, Dan Geschwind, Clifford J. Woolf. Accelerating axonal growth promotes motor recovery after peripheral nerve injury in mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2011; DOI: 10.1172/JCI58675
  2. Ahmet Hφke. A (heat) shock to the system promotes peripheral nerve regeneration. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2011; DOI: 10.1172/JCI59320

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Race to nerve regeneration: Faster is better." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003131417.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2011, October 3). Race to nerve regeneration: Faster is better. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003131417.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Race to nerve regeneration: Faster is better." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003131417.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

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