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Cellular cues identified for stroke recovery

rons wrapped themselves around the immature vascular cells that were in the process of forming new blood vessels in the damaged area. The neurons were found to arrive at the site within the first two to four weeks after the stroke.

Further, the researchers found that two proteins, stromal-derived factor 1 (SDF1) and angiopoietin 1 (Ang1), that are given off by these newly-forming blood vessels, are what trigger the thousands of immature neurons to the site of damage.

"The SDF1 and Ang1 proteins are what link the two processes of neurogenesis and angiogenesis together by promoting post-stroke neuroblast migration," said Carmichael. They also appear to effect behavioral recovery as well, he noted. The researchers produced the stroke in an area of the brain that controls the mouse's facial whiskers. When the mouse was infused by the researchers with Ang1 and SDF1, improvement in the function of the whisker's was seen to the same levels as the control (non-stroke) mice.

If harnessed properly, said Carmichael, the molecular mechanisms for neuronal regeneration hold the promise of regenerating and reconnecting brain cells near the area where stroke occurs. While the process may vary between mice and humans, he said, it's known that neurogenesis occurs in humans. "We're hopeful that we can take advantage of the brain's plasticity," said Carmichael. "This work could lead to the development of new therapies that will promote brain repair after stroke."


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Contact: Mark Wheeler
mwheeler@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2265
University of California - Los Angeles
21-Dec-2006


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