Sign up for Englemed updates from TwitterSign up for Englemed updates from Facebook
Contact Englemed
Our contact email address.
We can provide a specialist, tailored health and medical news service for your site.
Click here for more information
RSS graphic XML Graphic Add to Google
About Englemed news services - services and policies.
Englemed News Blog - Ten years and counting.
Diary of a reluctant allergy sufferer - How the British National Health Service deals with allergy.
BookshopFor books on women's health, healthy eating ideas, mental health issues, diabetes, etc click here
Copyright Notice. All reports, text and layout copyright Englemed Ltd, 52 Perry Avenue, Birmingham UK B42 2NE. Co Registered in England No 7053778 Some photos copyright Englemed Ltd, others may be used with permission of copyright owners.
Disclaimer: Englemed is a news service and does not provide health advice. Advice should be taken from a medical professional or appropriate health professional about any course of treatment or therapy.
Hope for new psoriasis treatment
Fri October 30th - A possible new therapy for psoriasis has shown promise, a European conference has heard. More
Shop workers' risk of getting COVID-19
Fri October 30th - Customer-facing shop staff are about five times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than their colleagues in other positions, a small American study has found. More
CA125 test better at predicting ovarian cancer
Fri October 30th - A readily available blood test is able to predict ovarian cancer risk more successfully than previously thought – particularly for the over 50s, according to newly published findings. More
On 08/02/2018 David Kelly wrote:
Would you like to write a piece about this to be i... on Researchers unveil new pain re...
On 23/10/2017 Cristina Pereira wrote: on HIV breakthrough - MRC...
On 12/09/2017 Aparna srikantam wrote:
Brilliant finding! indeed a break through in under... on Leprosy research breakthrough...
On 01/07/2017 Annetta wrote:
I have been diagnosed with COPD for over 12 years.... on Seaweed plan for antimicrobial...
On 12/03/2017 Steph wrote:
The photo you have paired with this article is its... on 'Fat shaming' limits...

Molecule might restore brain and spinal cord function

Tuesday September 15th 2020

A molecule has been created that might repair and restore brain and spinal cord function in mice with neurological disorders, it has been announced.

Scientists in the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC LMB), in Cambridge, UK, who worked with colleagues in Japan and Germany, say the synthetic "molecular bridge" allows novel interactions and opens the way to applications in neuronal circuit repair and remodelling.

Writing in Science, they say the design of the molecule means it can be extended to connect other cell types or could be used to remove connections in other disorders, such as epilepsy.

The molecule cerebellin-1 links neuronal cells with transmitters and receivers at synapses. Known as synaptic organisers, they are essential to help establish the vast communication network that underlies all nervous system functions.

The team examined if they could cut and paste structural elements from different organiser molecules to generate new ones with different binding properties. They produced CPTX, which was found to have an excellent ability to organise neuronal connections in cell cultures.

Dr Radu Aricescu, of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, said: "Damage in the brain or spinal cord often involves loss of neuronal connections in the first instance, which eventually leads to the death of neuronal cells.

“Prior to neuronal death, there is a window of opportunity when this process could be reversed in principle. We created a molecule that we believed would help repair or replace neuronal connections in a simple and efficient way.

“We were very much encouraged by how well it worked in cells and we started to look at mouse models of disease or injury where we see a loss of synapses and neuronal degeneration."

Following the successful cell culture experiments, the team tested their molecule's effect in mice with cerebellar ataxia, by injecting the molecule into the mice’s brains before observing neuronal tissue repair and improved motor performance.

They went on to see if there would be similar effects in other mouse models of neuronal loss and degeneration, such as Alzheimer's disease and spinal cord injury, and realised striking results in all animal models.

They recorded restored neuronal connections and improvements in memory, co-ordination and movement tests and saw the greatest impact in spinal cord injury, where motor function was restored for at least seven to eight weeks following a single injection into the site of injury.

The positive impact of injections in the brain lasted for about one week in the ataxia model, which has led them to continue improving it by looking to produce new and more stable versions of CPTX.

Dr Aricescu added: "There are many unknowns as to how synaptic organisers work in the brain and spinal cord, so we were very pleased with the results we saw.

“We demonstrate that we can restore neural connections that send and receive messages, but the same principle could be used to remove connections. The work opens the way to many applications in neuronal repair and remodelling: it is only imagination that limits the potential for these tools.”

Suzuki K, Elegheert J, Song I et al. A synthetic synaptic organizer protein restores glutamatergic neuronal circuits. Science 28 August 2020; doi: 10.1126/science.abb4853

Tags: Asia | Brain & Neurology | Europe | UK News

Printer friendly page Printer friendly page

Comment on this article:

<a>,<b> & <p> tags allowed
Please enter the letters displayed:
(not case sensitive)