Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH MEDIA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

Brains Cells May Regenerate After Radiotherapy

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 28 Aug 2013
Scientists have long believed that healthy brain cells, once damaged by radiation designed to kill brain tumors, cannot regenerate. However, new research in lab mice suggests that neural stem cells, the body’s source of new brain cells, are resistant to radiation, and can be woken up from a hibernation-like state to reproduce and generate new cells able to migrate, replace damaged cells, and possibly restore lost function.

“Despite being hit hard by radiation, it turns out that neural stem cells are like the special forces, on standby waiting to be activated,” noted Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, MD, a professor of neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore, MD, USA), and leader of a study described online in the journal Stem Cells. “Now we might figure out how to unleash the potential of these stem cells to repair human brain damage.”

The findings, Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa reported, may have impact for not only for brain cancer patients, but also for people with progressive neurologic disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), in which cognitive functions worsen as the brain suffers permanent damage over time.

The researchers examined the impact of radiation on mouse neural stem cells by assessing the mice’s responses to a subsequent brain injury. To do the research, the researchers used a device designed and used only at Johns Hopkins that effectively simulates localized radiation used in human cancer therapy. Other technology, according to the scientists, uses too much radiation to precisely impersonate the clinical experience of brain cancer patients.

In the weeks after radiation, the researchers injected the mice with lysolecithin, a compound that caused brain damage by inducing a demyelinating brain lesion, much like that present in MS. They found that neural stem cells within the irradiated subventricular zone of the brain generated new cells, which rushed to the damaged site to rescue newly injured cells. One month later, the new cells had integrated into the demyelinated area where new myelin, the protein insulation that protects nerves, was being produced.

“These mice have brain damage, but that doesn’t mean it’s irreparable,” Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa said. “This research is like detective work. We’re putting a lot of different clues together. This is another tiny piece of the puzzle. The brain has some innate capabilities to regenerate and we hope there is a way to take advantage of them. If we can let loose this potential in humans, we may be able to help them recover from radiation therapy, strokes, brain trauma, you name it.”

These findings may not be all good news, however. Neural stem cells have been linked to brain tumor development, Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa stressed. The radiation resistance his research discovered, he noted, could clarify why glioblastoma, the most lethal and aggressive form of brain cancer, is so difficult to treat with radiation.

Related Links:

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine



Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: In mice, mitochondria (green) in healthy (left) and Mfn1-deficient heart muscle cells (center) are organized in a linear arrangement, but the organelles are enlarged and disorganized in Mfn2-deficient cells (right) (Photo courtesy of the Rockefeller Press).

Cell Biologists Find That Certain Mitochondrial Diseases Stem from Coenzyme Q10 Depletion

A team of German cell biologists has linked the development of certain mitochondrial-linked diseases to depletion of the organelles' pool of coenzyme Q10 brought about by mutation in the MFN2 gene, which... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Molecular model of the protein Saposin C (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Nanovesicles Kill Human Lung Cancer Cells in Culture and in a Mouse Xenograft Model

Nanovesicles assembled from the protein Saposin C (SapC) and the phospholipid dioleoylphosphatidylserine (DOPS) were shown to be potent inhibitors of lung cancer cells in culture and in a mouse xenograft model.... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Possible New Target Found for Treating Brain Inflammation

Scientists have identified an enzyme that produces a class of inflammatory lipid molecules in the brain. Abnormally high levels of these molecules appear to cause a rare inherited eurodegenerative disorder, and that disorder now may be treatable if researchers can develop suitable drug candidates that suppress this enzyme.... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: The FLUOVIEW FVMPE-RS Gantry microscope (Photo courtesy of Olympus).

New Multiphoton Laser Scanning Microscope Configurations Expand Research Potential

Two new configurations of a state-of-the-art multiphoton laser scanning microscope extend the usefulness of the instrument for examining rapidly occurring biological events and for obtaining images from... Read more

Business

view channel

Roche Acquires Signature Diagnostics to Advance Translational Research

Roche (Basel, Switzerland) will advance translational research for next generation sequencing (NGS) diagnostics by leveraging the unique expertise of Signature Diagnostics AG (Potsdam, Germany) in biobanks and development of novel NGS diagnostic assays. Signature Diagnostics is a privately held translational oncology... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.