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Enzymes to Renew Nerve CellsBY: Nidhi Uppangala | Category: Healthcare | Submitted: 2010-06-24 15:44:55
Article Summary: "People who suffer from central nervous system damage by brain injury or stroke are paralyzed for their whole life because nerve cells are unable to regenerate themselves. Researchers discovered an enzyme called as Mst3b plays an important role in regeneration of axons or nerve cell fibers..."
The human body have got the ability to heal itself. Small cuts or injuries in the body are repaired in a few days, with restoring damaged muscle cell, skin and nerve cells. Nerve cells can regenerate, but this ability of nerve cell depends on where they are present in the body. Nervous system can be divided into two types, central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. Central nervous system includes, spinal cord and brain, these nerve cells are not able to regenerate itself after injury. Whereas peripheral nervous system, which function as mediator to transfer information to and from the central nervous system, have got the ability to regenerate after a short time of injury. People who suffer from central nervous system damage by brain injury or stroke are paralyzed for their whole life because nerve cells are unable to regenerate themselves.
Many researches over a time are conducted to understand why central nervous system looses the ability to regenerate itself. If nerve cells belonging to central nervous system by some way can regrow then new therapeutic techniques can be used to treat patients with spinal cord injury and paralysis.
Researches are being conducted throughout the world to deduce some approach which can be used to renew nerve cells of central nervous system. For example stem cell therapies, studying molecules which prevent nerve cell growth and also taking advantages of biological substances that can regenerate damaged nerve cells or nerve cell fibers.
Researchers discovered an enzyme called as Mst3b, in the Children's Hospital Boston, U.S.A. This enzyme plays an important role in regeneration of axons or nerve cell fibers, which are present in both central nervous system and also peripheral nervous system.
In another discovery scientists were able to identify a molecule called as inosine which stimulates regeneration of axon or nerve cell fiber and growth factor known as oncomodulin also effects the growth of nerve cell fiber. Scientists also discovered that both these compounds inosine and oncomodulin help in regeneration of nerve cell fiber or axon by activating compound known as Mst3b.
All these findings help in understanding enzyme Mst3b, as regulator of a signal transduction or signalling pathway which is involved in the axon growth, which is this enzyme activates the genes required for the growth of axon by activating the signalling pathway.
Enzyme Mst3b increased the growth of axon in a animal cell culture. Mst3b enzyme when administered into a animal model of central nervous system damaged rat with damaged optic nerve, increased the regeneration of axon but in the absence of this enzyme axon regeneration was negligible.
Mst3b enzyme alone or in combination with other growth factors activates the genes involved in the regeneration of nerve cells of central nervous system.
Regeneration of Nerve Cell:
Further research can be done using enzyme Mst3b as target therapeutic agent to treat patients with spinal cord or brain injuries. New therapeutic technique such as activating Mst3b may be used to activate the regeneration of nerve cells in the central nervous system. Still it is not yet confirmed whether the enzyme Mst3b is the best available target to activate the regeneration of central nervous system.
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