A protein named P45 is believed to yield insight into a possible molecular mechanism to promote rerouting for spinal cord healing and functional recovery. Spinal injuries cause a great deal of morbidity due to disabling effect these have.
Nerve tissue lacks the capacity to regenerate and that is one of the major reasons that spinal cord injuries cause disabilties. The best our bodies can do is route the surviving tissue around the injury.
Authors give an analogy of detour after an earthquake. If the freeway is down, you can still take the side-streets, traffic can still move.
The study from Salk Institute, by Sung and colleagues has been published in open access journal PLOS One.
This finding that P45 helps in rerouting the nerve tissue has raised the hopes of finding potential target molecule for drug treatments as the authors say though it is a miniscule step in that direction.
The success of an attempted rerouting after a spinal cord injury depends on how much healthy tissue is left. But wounds set off a cascade of reactions within cells which unstopped can lead to dead and dying tissue extending beyond the injury site.
The researchers found that P45 is the key factor determining whether the cascade continues on to its destructive end.
P45 is a natural antagonist the cascade[ Antagonists are molecules, some naturally occurring, some made in pharmaceutical laboratories, that work essentially like sticking gum in a lock. Because the antagonist is in place, no other molecule can get in.]
Thus P45 prevents two other proteins in the death cascade from connecting, rendering their actions harmless and stopping cell death.
P45 also yield positive effects, specifically the encouragement of healthy tissue growth. Thus, P45 tips cascade from negative to positive.
A molecule that inhibits the negative and promotes the positive. P45
It must be understood that study is just a s a proof of concept experiment in mice. Clinical application if any would take many years to come.
Tsung-Chang Sung, Zhijiang Chen, Sandrine Thuret, Marçal Vilar, Fred H. Gage, Roland Riek, Kuo-Fen Lee. P45 Forms a Complex with FADD and Promotes Neuronal Cell Survival Following Spinal Cord Injury. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (7): e69286 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069286
Get more stuff on Musculoskeltal Health
Subscribe to our Newsletter and get latest publications on Musculoskeletal Health your email inbox.
Thank you for subscribing.