Study surprises with finding on molecule for SCI repair: 5 insights

Megan Wood -   Print  |

University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers made an unexpected discovery about the molecule myelin in relation to neuron growth in spinal cord injuries.

Science Translational Medicine published the study.

Here are five insights.

1. A mixture of insulating proteins and lipids, myelin is known to halt neuronal growth. This new study, however, demonstrates adult rat myelin stimulated axonal outgrowth in rat neural precursor cells and human-induced pluripotent-derived neural stem cells.

2. The researchers monitored neurite outgrowth from NPCs and NSCs growing on a myelin substrate in Petri dishes. They discovered neurite outgrowth improved threefold.

3. The study involved further investigation, where researchers implanted NPCs and human iPSC-derived NSCs at the injury site. The result was "greater numbers of axons through adult central nervous system white matter than through gray matter, and preferentially associated with rat host myelin."

4. Researchers identified the molecule, reuronal growth regulator 1, as a mediator between axons and myelin, allowing axons to grow.

5. Researchers concluded their finding supports using neural precursor cells and iPSC-derived stem cells for repairing SCIs.\

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