Discovery Offers New Genetic Pathway for Injured Nerve Regeneration
On the hunt for genes involved in regenerating critical nerve fibers called axons, biologists at the University of California San Diego came away with a surprise: The discovery of a new genetic pathway that carries hope for victims of traumatic injuries—from stroke to spinal cord damage.
UC San Diego Biological Sciences Assistant Project Scientist Kyung Won Kim, Professor Yishi Jin and their colleagues conducted a large-scale genetic screening in the roundworm C. elegans seeking ultimately to understand genetic influences that might limit nerve regrowth in humans. Unexpectedly, the researchers found the PIWI-interacting small RNA (piRNA) pathway—long believed to be restricted to function in the germline—plays an active role in neuron damage regeneration.
The discovery is published online Jan. 25, 2018 in the journal Neuron.
“This came as a total surprise,” said Jin, Chair of the Section of Neurobiology, Division of Biological Sciences, and a member of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine in UC San Diego’s School of Medicine. “piRNA wasn’t anywhere on our radar, but now we are convinced that it is a new pathway that functions in neurons and, with some work, could offer therapeutic targets for helping neurons do better against injury.”
Axons are long, threadlike extensions of nerve cells that transmit electric and chemical signals from one cell to another. Jin’s research focuses on discovering new targets to help axons regenerate, especially from injuries thought to be irreversible such as in vehicle accidents, sports injuries, spinal cord damage and from stroke.
Although no cures exist for many of these injuries, if the damaged neurons do not die, “there is hope to find ways to make them stronger and help them regrow,” said Jin.
Jin and Kim said that piRNA was historically viewed as a defense mechanism for germ cells against transposable elements, with no role in the nervous system. After identification in their genetic screening, the researchers went on to study piRNA’s role in axon injuries through experiments using a femtosecond laser instrument, which emits ultrafast pulses to allow precise cuts in axons. When Kim first presented her data implicating piRNA in restricting axon growth, Jin said the results seemed improbable. Eventually the results proved irrefutable, especially when the researchers knocked out a fleet of genes necessary for piRNA production and found that a damaged roundworm axon regrew better.
“For us this finding is totally unexpected,” said Kim. “We are now investigating detailed mechanisms that regulate the pathway to inhibit axon regeneration, including identifying specifically which piRNA elements are involved and how they function in axon regrowth.”
The Latest on: Nerve regeneration
Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells
on July 2, 2018 at 9:10 pm
The new findings indicate it might be possible in the future to regenerate diseased brain tissue by means ... Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells: Researchers of the Mainz Univers... […]
A Creationist Tried Showing Me Limbs Can Regenerate With Prayer (He Failed)
on June 30, 2018 at 12:15 pm
I wash dishes. I cook,” she says, adding that she’s had physical therapy to decrease tingling in her finger caused by severed nerves. Got that? She didn’t regenerate her finger. They just did a bit of ... […]
This hydrogel could regenerate stronger, healthier nerves in injured soldiers
on June 27, 2018 at 7:05 am
Soldiers who survive explosions on the battlefield and civilians who live through serious car accidents often suffer nerve damage in their arms and legs. This can mean losing their sense of touch or t... […]
Nerve Repair and Regeneration Market Analysis and Prediction By Leading Manufacturers, Applications And Product Types With Region By 2023
on June 20, 2018 at 7:39 am
Global Nerve Repair and Regeneration report also covers segment data, including: type segment, industry segment, channel segment etc. cover different segment market size, both volume and value. Also c... […]
Repair and regeneration of peripheral nerves possible with dual polymer hydrogel adhesive
on June 14, 2018 at 9:33 am
Tissue Engineering brings together scientific and medical experts in the fields of biomedical engineering, material science, molecular and cellular biology, and genetic engineering. Credit: Mary Ann L... […]
Scientists Repair Partially Severed Spinal Cord In Monkeys By Encouraging Neurons To Regenerate
on June 5, 2018 at 12:43 pm
For this particular study, chitosan was used as a matrix scaffold to load neurotrophin-3, which is a neurotrophic factor in the nerve growth factor family ... substances did indeed elicit "robust neur... […]
Global Nerve Repair and Regeneration Market | Industry Size, Analysis 2011-2017, Future Scope 2018-2023
on May 28, 2018 at 12:27 am
The study of Global Nerve Repair and Regeneration Market 2018 provides the market size information, In-Depth Analysis along with Competitive Insights and Segmentation. (EMAILWIRE.COM, May 28, 2018 ) T... […]
Nerve Regeneration Market Top 10 Key Player by 2023 | AxoGen Inc - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -
on February 12, 2018 at 3:20 am
Global Nerve Regeneration Market Information by Product (Biomaterials, Nerve Conduits), By Application, By Methods - Forecast to 2027 The Global Nerve Regeneration Market is expected to grow at a CAGR ... […]
The Nerve Repair and Regeneration Market is Expected to Reach USD 10.59 Billion by 2022
on November 9, 2017 at 4:00 pm
According to a new market research report "Nerve Repair and Regeneration Market by Application (Neurorrhaphy, Nerve Grafting, Stem Cell Therapy, Neurostimulation Surgery), Products (Biomaterials, Nerv... […]
Breakthrough medical discovery: 3D printing might be used to regenerate nerves
on September 21, 2017 at 5:00 am
Having significantly damaged nerve tissue is bad for a lot of reasons because it doesn’t regenerate easily and it can lead to various serious medical conditions including paralysis. But many scientist... […]
via Google News and Bing News