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Several new techniques show promise for spinal cord repair

e C3/4 location, researchers implanted embryonic tissue into the injury site to effectively "fill the hole," and then administered 0.4 or 0.8 mol/kg/hr of Rolipram via a mini-pump inserted under the animals' skin. The drug was delivered continuously for 10 days, beginning two weeks after the injury. Six weeks after drug administration, scientists found improvement in front paw control and movement and in nerve regeneration. Less of the scar formed in the Rolipram-treated animals as well.

In a control group of five rats, researchers placed only embryonic cells in the spinal cord injury site, without Rolipram, but no nerve cell regrowth or functional recovery occurred. "These results suggest that drugs that elevate cAMP (i.e., Rolipram), are likely to be effective in treating spinal cord injuries," says Filbin.

As a result of Rolipram's success in regenerating spinal cord nerve cells, which was an off-label use at the time of Filbin's study, the company Renovis now has licensed patents on the drug Rolipram.

Another animal study demonstrated nerve regrowth and restoration of function of sensory nerves leading directly into the spinal cord, when two agents--Zymosan and cABC--were used in combination.

Zymosan is an agent that is theorized to aid in the regeneration of neurons by escalating mechanisms responsible for neuronal regrowth. "Just as the inhibition of neuronal regrowth in spinal cord injury is caused by many factors, such as growth-inhibiting molecules and scarring, repair may be best achieved with several agents," says Jerry Silver, PhD, at Case Western Reserve University . "Combinations of agents to treat spinal cord injury may result in robust regrowth of spinal cord neurons."

Silver and his colleagues microinjected 31 g/l of Zymosan into one of the nerves (C8) of the upper limb of adult, female rats at the C8 dorsal root entry zone (DREZ) . Seven days later, the C8 dorsal root was crushed three times with #3 jewe
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Contact: Leah Ariniello
dawn@sfn.org
202-462-6688
Society for Neuroscience
26-Oct-2004


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