Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Immune function restored in spinal injured mice

Date:
August 6, 2013
Source:
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Summary:
Scientists have shown that is possible to restore immune function in spinal injured mice. People with spinal cord injury often are immune compromised, which makes them more susceptible to infections. Why these people become immune-suppressed is not known, but the study found that a disorder called autonomic dysreflexia can cause immune suppression.

Labratory mouse (stock image).
Credit: mgkuijpers / Fotolia

In a new study, researchers at The Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center show that is possible to restore immune function in spinal injured mice.

People with spinal cord injury often are immune compromised, which makes them more susceptible to infections. Why these people become immune-suppressed is not known, but the Ohio State study found that a disorder called autonomic dysreflexia can cause immune suppression.

Autonomic dysreflexia is a potentially dangerous complication of high-level spinal cord injury characterized by exaggerated activation of spinal autonomic (sympathetic) reflexes. This can cause an abrupt onset of excessively high blood pressure that can cause pulmonary embolism, stroke and in severe cases, death.

"Our research offers an explanation for why people with spinal cord injuries develop a condition referred to as 'central immune depression syndrome.' Their immune systems, which are required to fight off infection, are suppressed due to damage or malfunction in regions of the spinal cord that help control immune function," said principal investigator Phillip G. Popovich, Ph.D., Professor of Neuroscience in Ohio State's College of Medicine and Director of Ohio State's Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair.

The study is published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Researchers found that autonomic dysreflexia develops spontaneously in spinal cord injured mice, and becomes more frequent as time passes from the initial spinal cord injury.

They also found that simple, everyday occurrences that activate normal spinal autonomic reflexes, such as having bowel movements or emptying the bladder, become hyperactive and suppress immune function in people with spinal cord injury.

In the study, Popovich and colleagues were able to restore immune function in mice with spinal cord injuries using drugs that inhibit norepinephrine and glucocorticoids, immune modulatory hormones that are produced during the onset and progression of AD. They also observed in a patient with a high-level spinal cord injury that briefly inducing autonomic dysreflexia impaired immune function, confirming that their findings in mice have relevance to humans.

"Although we don't know how to fix this yet, we also show that it is possible to restore immune function in spinal injured mice," Popovich said. "After spinal cord injury, the ability of the spinal cord to control the immune system is impaired. As result, these individuals become susceptible to infection, and often die from these infections. For those that survive, the infections can impair what little function they have left after the spinal cord injury."

The study found that autonomic dysreflexia causes immune suppression in part by releasing into blood and immune organs high levels of immune modulatory hormones that non-selectively kill mature and immature white blood cells in the spleen, said first author Yi Zhang, a post-doctoral neuroscience researcher at Ohio State.

"Our research is laying the groundwork for potential therapeutic targets for reversing central immune depression syndrome," Zhang said, adding that further research is needed.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. "Immune function restored in spinal injured mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130806203529.htm>.
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. (2013, August 6). Immune function restored in spinal injured mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130806203529.htm
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. "Immune function restored in spinal injured mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130806203529.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beijing Marathon Runners Brave Hazardous Air Pollution

Beijing Marathon Runners Brave Hazardous Air Pollution

AFP (Oct. 19, 2014) Tens of thousands of runners battled thick smog at the Beijing Marathon on Sunday, with some donning masks as the levels of PM2.5 small pollutant particles soared to 16 times the maximum recommended level. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
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