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Thread: Scientists make the spinal cord transparent

  1. #1

    Scientists make the spinal cord transparent

    The new method is a leap forward in regeneration research. By using fluorescent dyes to stain individual nerve cells, scientists can now trace their path from all angels in an otherwise transparent spinal cord section. This enables them to ascertain once and for all whether or not these nerve cells recommenced their growth following injury to the spine – an essential prerequisite for future research.

    http://www.healthcanal.com/medical-b...ansparent.html

  2. #2
    Interesting!
    "It's not the despair, I can handle the despair! It's the hope!" - John Cleese

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  3. #3
    Indeed
    Han: "We are all ready to win, just as we are born knowing only life. It is defeat that you must learn to prepare for"

  4. #4
    A meaningful experiment would be to use stem cells obtained from the same animal, label them with GFP or some other fluorescent dye and put them back in the spinal injury. Then, after a few months, beside checking for obvious results, it would be interesting to see if these cells have connected back to the right axons with the severed parts. Otherwise you do not know if the animal's brain was giving the order to wiggle the toes and instead you got a leg extension because of faulty wiring. Maybe a simple experiment that would need to be completed and then additional cells types could be the final proof that the therapy for SCI is effective. It makes sense to track the cells, otherwise how could someone truly know what they have and the capabilities of any particular cell type? This sort of experiment has not been done to prove that it is the stem cells put into the injury site that can make the right and functional connections for restoring biological and physiological function. Since it is possible to mark the transplanted stem cells and transplant them into lesions, I think tracking could simplify this and the results could speed the science forward on exactly which cells would be most beneficial and actually work well. They could simply send an electrical/chemical stimuli to one end of the axon and see if you get the same response at the other. We could see the repair of the damaged spine tissue and test with electrical and chemical stimulation after the implantation and see if there are any changes. It would be possible to have almost a final answer to many of the unknowns without the need of billions and going forward with the wrong cells types that will not provide sufficient biological recovery. This could save lots of money and time!

  5. #5
    Link to the original paper published online in Nature Medicine:

    http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/vao...s/nm.2600.html

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by GRAMMY View Post
    A meaningful experiment would be to use stem cells obtained from the same animal, label them with GFP or some other fluorescent dye and put them back in the spinal injury. Then, after a few months, beside checking for obvious results, it would be interesting to see if these cells have connected back to the right axons with the severed parts. Otherwise you do not know if the animal's brain was giving the order to wiggle the toes and instead you got a leg extension because of faulty wiring. Maybe a simple experiment that would need to be completed and then additional cells types could be the final proof that the therapy for SCI is effective. It makes sense to track the cells, otherwise how could someone truly know what they have and the capabilities of any particular cell type? This sort of experiment has not been done to prove that it is the stem cells put into the injury site that can make the right and functional connections for restoring biological and physiological function. Since it is possible to mark the transplanted stem cells and transplant them into lesions, I think tracking could simplify this and the results could speed the science forward on exactly which cells would be most beneficial and actually work well. They could simply send an electrical/chemical stimuli to one end of the axon and see if you get the same response at the other. We could see the repair of the damaged spine tissue and test with electrical and chemical stimulation after the implantation and see if there are any changes. It would be possible to have almost a final answer to many of the unknowns without the need of billions and going forward with the wrong cells types that will not provide sufficient biological recovery. This could save lots of money and time!
    Hi Granny,

    Good job. I think you should write a grant. I'd score this idea very well. Actually, several labs are proposing a variety of experiments quite similar to this already. Frank Bradke is a wonderful scientist and a close friend so several of us who are collaborating with him to use his marvelous new technique. One problem here in the US is that such a microscope setup doesn't yet exist here. The good news is that one is coming to the Reeve-Irvine center.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jsilver View Post
    Hi Granny,

    Good job. I think you should write a grant. I'd score this idea very well. Actually, several labs are proposing a variety of experiments quite similar to this already. Frank Bradke is a wonderful scientist and a close friend so several of us who are collaborating with him to use his marvelous new technique. One problem here in the US is that such a microscope setup doesn't yet exist here. The good news is that one is coming to the Reeve-Irvine center.
    I mean GRAMMY. Sorry, I keep making this mistake, my apologies.

  8. #8
    http://the-scientist.com/2011/12/01/...o-axon-growth/

    November/December 2011 » Scientist to Watch
    Frank Bradke: Privy to Axon Growth
    Full Professor and Senior Research Group Leader, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases. Age: 42
    laubertphoto
    Frank Bradke’s work on neuronal polarization began in a bathroom. Though the toilet had been removed, the small room at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, was still recognizable as a former restroom, Bradke says. But that didn’t stop the budding neuro-scientist from setting up his new inverted microscope and spending about three years in the room, watching organelle movement in developing neurons.
    “And he never had a complaint,” recalls his PhD advisor Carlos Dotti, now at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. “He just cares about doing science. He can do experiments in the back yard, he wouldn’t care.”
    METHOD: Bradke was interested in understanding why one of a developing neuron’s many small projections, called neurites, developed into the axon that would propagate action potentials down its length, while others would become dendrites, which would receive chemical signals from neighboring neurons. After many hours spent observing, he found that the neurite destined to become the axon accumulates more organelles,1 and its actin cytoskeleton is more dynamic.2
    RESULTS: Upon accepting a postdoc in the lab of Marc Tessier-Lavigne at the University of California, San Francisco, and then at Stanford University, Bradke switched to studying axonal growth following injury. While the axons in the peripheral nervous system regenerate, neurons of the central nervous system, such as those of the spinal cord, do not. Even sensory neurons, which have axons both in the peripheral and central nervous systems, follow these basic rules—only the axon that projects into the periphery can regenerate. In the 1980s, however, researchers showed that by damaging the peripheral axon, it was possible to condition sensory neurons to later regenerate central nervous system axons as well—a phenomenon known as peripheral conditioning.
    Bradke discovered that when he stimulated the cyclic AMP signaling pathway, damaged sensory neurons in the spinal cord could regenerate their axons, just like those conditioned with peripheral lesions.3 The finding, Bradke hopes, could have implications for the treatment of spinal cord injury. But there’s one major problem: for the cAMP treatment to be effective, it must be applied before injury takes place.
    “Imagine you want to ride your motorbike, and then your partner tells you, ‘Ah, honey, don’t forget to have your cyclic AMP injection,’ ” Bradke says. “It wouldn’t make a lot of sense.”
    DISCUSSION: In his own lab at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Bradke continues to study axonal growth and regeneration. His group, formerly at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, demonstrated the importance of microtubules, which essentially push through the actin cytoskeleton to form the developing axon.4 Stabilizing a neuron’s microtubules with a low dose of the chemotherapy drug taxol can prompt a cell to form multiple axons. Taxol also helps reduce the scarring on injured neurons, which can impede the regeneration process.
    “We need to understand more about the molecular pathways involved in this process,” Bradke adds, “[and] also to see what is going on after spinal cord injury.”
    “What we’re all interested in ultimately is how nerve cells behave in the more complex environment—either cells of the embryo or the injured nervous system,” agrees Tessier-Lavigne, now president of The Rockefeller University. And that’s “what he’s done beautifully in his own lab…tie together the cell biological work and the in vivo work.”
    LITERATURE CITED:
    F. Bradke, C.G. Dotti, “Neuronal polarity: Vectorial cytoplasmic flow precedes axon formation,” Neuron, 19:1175-86, 1997. (Cited 127 times)
    F. Bradke, C.G. Dotti, “The role of local actin instability in axon formation,” Science, 283:1931-34, 1999. (Cited 293 times)
    S. Neumann et al., “Regeneration of sensory axons within the injured spinal cord induced by intraganglionic cAMP elevation,” Neuron, 34:885-93, 2002. (Cited 352 times)
    H. Witte et al., “Microtubule stabilization specifies initial neuronal polarization,” J Cell Biol, 180:619-32, 2008. (Cited 96 times)

    http://www.reeve.uci.edu/research.html (chronic spinal cord injury lab)
    Last edited by GRAMMY; 12-27-2011 at 01:36 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jsilver View Post
    Such a microscope setup doesn't yet exist here. The good news is that one is coming to the Reeve-Irvine center.
    @Dr. Silver:

    Would they be using donated human spinal cord tissue to begin with or would they start the series in mice for proof of concept? The ramifications of finding the perfect cell to aid a biological cure would perhaps put several biotech companies out of business that are selling a cell type that isn't very beneficial. The scientists and SCI folks may love this microscope, but I could see lots of companies needing to change their production lines...
    Last edited by GRAMMY; 12-27-2011 at 01:49 PM.

  10. #10
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    Sorry i can not understand this research. Explain plz?

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