“Paralyzed mouse walks again after complete spinal cord injury.” Study of gene therapy in science

“Paralyzed mouse walks again after complete spinal cord injury.”  Study of gene therapy in science

For the first time, a paralyzed mouse can walk again after suffering a complete injury. In fact, it was He developed the first gene therapy capable of stimulating nerve regrowth in cases of spinal cord injury And reconnect with each other to regain the ability to move. Report it in the magazine Sciences, It is a team of scientists from NeuroRestore from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Experts say that when the spinal cord suffers partial damage, initial paralysis can be followed by significant and spontaneous recovery of motor function. However, in cases of complete spinal cord injuries, this normal repair of the spinal cord does not occur and healing does not occur.

Significant recovery after severe injury requires strategies that promote nerve fiber regeneration, but the conditions necessary for this process remain unclear. The international research team has been working on this innovation for a long time. “Five years ago, we demonstrated that nerve fibers can be regenerated from anatomically complete lesions of the spinal cord,” he says. Mark Anderson, author of the study. “But we also realized that this was not enough to restore motor function, as the new fibers failed to connect to the correct places on the other side of the lesion.”

Anderson is director of the Center for Central Nervous System Regeneration at NeuroRestore and a scientist at the Wyss Center for Bioengineering and Neural Engineering. Working in collaboration with colleagues at the University of California (University of California) And based on Harvard Medical School, Scientists used state-of-the-art equipment at the Campus Biotech facilities of the Polytechnic Institute of Lausanne (EPFL) in Geneva to perform in-depth analyzes and identify the type of neurons involved in normal spinal cord repair after partial spinal cord injury. infection.

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“Our observations have highlighted the specific axons that need to be regenerated using sequencing Single-cell nuclear RNA It was also revealed that these axons must reconnect with their normal targets to restore motor function Jordan Square, first author of the study. The scientists activated growth programs in identified neurons in mice to regenerate their nerve fibres, increasing the production of specific proteins to support the growth of neurons across the core of the lesion, and administering guidance molecules to attract the regenerating nerve fibers to their normal place. Targets under the lesion. post treatment, Mice with anatomically complete spinal cord lesions regained the ability to walk, show movement patterns similar to those measured in mice that resumed walking normally after partial lesions. “We expect our gene therapy to work synergistically with our other procedures involving electrical stimulation of the spinal cord,” says Gregoire Courtin, senior author of the study.

Lila Simone

Photos and videos – EPFL/Neurorestore

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