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Thread: Salk news: Spinal cord injury Motor nerve cell 'factory' findings may elicit treatments for spinal cord injury

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jeremy's Avatar
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    Salk news: Spinal cord injury Motor nerve cell 'factory' findings may elicit treatments for spinal cord injury

    Public release date: 4-Jun-2003

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-sns060303.php

    Contact: Andrew Porterfield
    porterfield@salk.edu
    858-453-4100 x1340
    Salk Institute

    Salk news: Spinal cord injury
    Motor nerve cell 'factory' findings may elicit treatments for spinal cord injury, disease

    La Jolla, Calif.-Manufacturing motor nerve cells may someday be possible to help restore function in victims of spinal cord injury or such diseases of motion as Parkinson's and Lou Gehrig's disease or post-polio syndrome, a Salk Institute research study has found.
    Salk Associate Professor Sam Pfaff and postdoctoral fellow Soo-Kyung Lee reported in a paper in the June 5 issue of Neuron that they constructed a detailed model of how stem cells are prodded, regulated and otherwise encouraged to become not only nerve cells, but specifically motor neurons that the body relies on to move muscles and limbs throughout the body.

    The study provides the first blueprint for the cellular factory that produces motor neurons from embryonic stem cells. It could eventually result in new treatments for spinal cord injury, and other diseases that affect motor nerve cells.

    "In the embryonic nervous system, many types of neurons are generated with distinct properties, " said Pfaff. "We used nature as a model to understand how genes interact to develop motor nerves in the spinal cord. This study showed an unusually efficient yield of 60 percent motor nerves."

    Working with chick embryo cells, the researchers achieved this efficiency by tracing how two important gene and protein-regulated pathways of nerve generation collaborate to create specialized nerve cells, including motor neurons. One pathway, called bHLH (short for basic-helix-loop-helix), creates a wide range of neurons from simple stem cells. The other pathway, called LIM Homeodomain (or LIM-D), determines what type of neuron is produced.

    This study demonstrates how these two pathways interact, comprising the cellular factory that makes motor neuron. Using biochemical techniques and testing mutations in key pathway genes, Pfaff and his team worked out a model for how these nerve cells were formed. Knowing how this model works is crucial for producing new neurons, especially in adults.

    "In adults, the growth cues that produce motor neurons from stem cells are gone," said Pfaff. "The signaling is gone after development is over, denying new, transplanted cells any cues for growth. This model, if it proves effective in humans, may help re-create those cues to help treat these injuries and diseases."

    The principles that emerge from this study provide a framework for generating other classes of neurons such as those affected in Parkinson's disease. Because there currently is no effective treatment for these disorders, this study and similar scientific investments in understanding the basic mechanisms of growth and injury may pay off in future treatments.


    ###
    Pfaff's work is supported by the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers and Chun foundations.

    The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, located in La Jolla, Calif., is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fundamental discoveries in the life sciences, the improvement of human health and conditions, and the training of future generations of researchers. Jonas Salk, M.D., founded the institute in 1960 with a gift of land from the City of San Diego and the financial support of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.

    "WAKE ME UP WHEN IT'S OVER !!!"

  2. #2
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
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    Salk news: Spinal cord injury
    Motor nerve cell 'factory' findings may elicit treatments for spinal cord injury, disease

    This is wonderful news, but contains words like "may elicit", which always concerns me.

  3. #3
    Senior Member chastev8's Avatar
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    This is great news: along with finding the Nanog for stem cells and the popping up of OEG trials, things are getting good!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member defiler's Avatar
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    Indeed they are chastev. I honestly feel a 5year max of something SERIOUS. Meaning, max of 5years until a breakthrough "cure" is available. Optimistic? Nah. We're seeing amazing feats like this almost daily. We'll see=)

    "Failure is impossible"

  5. #5
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
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    Defiler said:

    "I honestly feel a 5 year max of something SERIOUS."

    Does anyone else think the same given what's going on in research currently??

  6. #6
    I definitely think there will be some Phase 2 and 3 trials ending within or at that 5 year timeline.

    -Steven

  7. #7
    Jeremy, good article. Thx.

    Defiler, Chastev8, - I agree.

    Schmeky, as an engineer you're used to absolutes. I respect that. And science, although filled with absolutes also operates, imo, on creativity, imagination and 'artistic' expression to some extent - hence the variety of styles, approaches, theories towards sci recovery.

    You, Zaphod and others asked me in a previous thread why I thought 1-3 yrs was a reasonable time table to witness cure related breakthroughs - meaningful to us.

    The reasons are pace and application. Without going into great detail, and boring everyone in the process, all I need to do is look around and bear witness to the progress.

    We have meaningful worldwide scientific clinical trials going on currently - although we NEED many more. But when in just the past 5 yrs has this been happening? Answer; it hasn't

    We've got some funding momentum, probably in the area of 300-400 million public/private - again NOT nearly enough. But when have we had this before? Answer; Never

    We've got, although small, legislative and political momentum. e.g. CR Paralysis Bill, Quest For The Cure and others - Kent Waldrep. Again, when has it ever been so public?

    We've got pharmaceutical breakthroughs, research breakthroughs happening almost daily.

    3yrs ago yesterday - my accident anniversary - you had the options of KAO, Goldsmith, Cheng, Tijuana and a bunch of anecdotal wannabees to go for a 'cure' with absolutely no research or clinical data. To be sure, there were theories, Schwann, Nogo, IN-1, etc. but nothing was being applied and the urgency factor waned. Today, I feel, that the sci research playground is filled with activity. Its also filled, most importantly with a ground swell of belief that the impossible is now not only possible but realistically possible.

    The cure may not be complete but I believe that within 1-3yrs we here in the U.S. will have meaningful scientific application that we may or may not decide to engage in.

    And to really speed things along we need more....you guessed it...MONEY.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Motor Nerve Cell 'Factory' Findings May Elicit Treatments For Spinal Cord Injury, Disease

    Motor Nerve Cell 'Factory' Findings May Elicit Treatments For Spinal Cord Injury, Disease
    La Jolla, Calif. - Manufacturing motor nerve cells may someday be possible to help restore function in victims of spinal cord injury or such diseases of motion as Parkinson's and Lou Gehrig's disease or post-polio syndrome, a Salk Institute research study has found.

    Salk Associate Professor Sam Pfaff and postdoctoral fellow Soo-Kyung Lee reported in a paper in the June 5 issue of Neuron that they constructed a detailed model of how stem cells are prodded, regulated and otherwise encouraged to become not only nerve cells, but specifically motor neurons that the body relies on to move muscles and limbs throughout the body.

    The study provides the first blueprint for the cellular factory that produces motor neurons from embryonic stem cells. It could eventually result in new treatments for spinal cord injury, and other diseases that affect motor nerve cells.

    "In the embryonic nervous system, many types of neurons are generated with distinct properties, " said Pfaff. "We used nature as a model to understand how genes interact to develop motor nerves in the spinal cord. This study showed an unusually efficient yield of 60 percent motor nerves."

    Working with chick embryo cells, the researchers achieved this efficiency by tracing how two important gene and protein-regulated pathways of nerve generation collaborate to create specialized nerve cells, including motor neurons. One pathway, called bHLH (short for basic-helix-loop-helix), creates a wide range of neurons from simple stem cells. The other pathway, called LIM Homeodomain (or LIM-D), determines what type of neuron is produced.

    This study demonstrates how these two pathways interact, comprising the cellular factory that makes motor neuron. Using biochemical techniques and testing mutations in key pathway genes, Pfaff and his team worked out a model for how these nerve cells were formed. Knowing how this model works is crucial for producing new neurons, especially in adults.

    "In adults, the growth cues that produce motor neurons from stem cells are gone," said Pfaff. "The signaling is gone after development is over, denying new, transplanted cells any cues for growth. This model, if it proves effective in humans, may help re-create those cues to help treat these injuries and diseases."

    The principles that emerge from this study provide a framework for generating other classes of neurons such as those affected in Parkinson's disease. Because there currently is no effective treatment for these disorders, this study and similar scientific investments in understanding the basic mechanisms of growth and injury may pay off in future treatments.

    ###

    Pfaff's work is supported by the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers and Chun foundations.

    The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, located in La Jolla, Calif., is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fundamental discoveries in the life sciences, the improvement of human health and conditions, and the training of future generations of researchers. Jonas Salk, M.D., founded the institute in 1960 with a gift of land from the City of San Diego and the financial support of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.

    Editor's Note: The original news release can be found here.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Salk Institute.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0605082846.htm

  9. #9
    bumping for schmeky, zaphod.

  10. #10
    Banned Acid's Avatar
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    "diseases of motion as Parkinson's" I have not been regarding that as a "disease of motion" but for example as destructions in the substantia nigra.

    "classes of neurons such as those affected in Parkinson's disease. Because there currently is no effective treatment for these disorders"

    BS, of course there are effective treatments of Parkinson's.
    That is among reasons, South American Indian healing knowledge is that famous.


    Apart from this, I don't see how causes for Parkinson's are removed.

    Even if sticking in neurons (glial "scaffold" aspects in this I do not understand, aside), what is making that it is not going on?

    But interesting report.

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