Scientists Identified New Pathway For Nerve Cell Death Exerts Beneficial Effects For Treatment Of Neurological Disorders

Scientists Identified New Pathway For Nerve Cell Death Exerts Beneficial Effects For Treatment Of Neurological Disorders

Overview

  • Post By : Microbioz India
  • Source: Washington University in St.louis
  • Date: 23 April, 2015

According to recent research study published online on 23rd April 2015 at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, nerve cell communicate with each other through Axon cables, such communication responsible for vital activities, such as thinking and memory, movement and language. According to study research finds that:

“We have uncovered new details that let us piece together a major pathway involved in axon degeneration,” said senior author Jeffrey Milbrandt, MD, PhD, the James S. McDonnell Professor and head of the Department of Genetics. “This is an important step forward and helps to identify new therapeutic targets. That we were able to block axon degeneration in the lab also gives us hope that drugs could be developed to treat patients suffering from a variety of neurological conditions.”

Working in cell cultures, fruit flies and mice, Milbrandt and co-author Aaron DiAntonio, MD, PhD, the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Professor of Developmental Biology, and their colleagues showed that a protein already known to be involved in axon degeneration, acts like a switch to trigger axon degeneration after an injury.

Moreover, they found that this protein, once unleashed, causes a rapid decline in the energy supply within axons. Within minutes after the protein – called SARM1 – is activated in neurons, a massive loss of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a chemical central to a cell’s energy production, occurs within the axon.

“When a nerve is diseased or injured, SARM1 becomes more active, initiating a series of events that quickly causes an energetic catastrophe within the axon, and the axon undergoes self-destruction,” said first author Josiah Gerdts, an MD/PhD student in Milbrandt’s laboratory.

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