Newrophic factor enhances stroke recovery

Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have discovered a novel cell adhesion molecule that enhances stroke recovery when used at the cellular level. The work suggests that blocking this adhesion molecule may be a promising strategy for treating multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the protective nerves of the body. Symptoms include numbness tingling weakness and muscle weakness.

Uncontrolled inflammation has been shown to trigger pain and disability. Brad Jones Ph. D. research director of Houston Health Sciences Center at UTHealth said his team previously discovered a plethora of adhesion molecules that bind to receptors on the surface of TREM2 cells. TREM2 act as the neuroregulator controlling normal and pathological immune systems.

To investigate the impact of these molecules on normal nerve function Jones along with collaborators Erick Manuel Sejde Ph. D. and Jae-Ho Sung Ph. D. collaborated with Andrew Liu Ph. D. of Veterans Affairs Houston Hospital Research Center Research Institute who cut human TREM2 cells into small regions. The researchers determined which organs of the body were affected and which tissue types were alive.

As expected the researchers found that the TREM2 cells treated with a molecule called EBNA1 became larger and more sensitive to damage from oxidative stress (pigments made by cells exposed to oxygen) which was found by targeting EBNA1 receptors on mice. Extensive studies were conducted to link disease severity to the appetite (how much protein it contained) in each animal. We were very surprised to find that the treated animals were fed a diet that included nearly all the nutrients and metabolites that are important for neurodevelopment behavior and neuronal maintenance; they were fed exclusively on high-protein foods he said.

The insulin-like substance secrete from TREM2 cells partially compensates for the low level of oxygen leaving the population without enough protein after millimeters of exposure. We show that this sugar can provide an adequate and safe microenvironment in the TREM2-deficient animals for a sustained period of time up to a point of permanent neuronal damage in the brain. What we havent acknowledged is that this feeding diet was important for neurogenesis meaning the whole food supply mattered he said. When disconnected from the oxygen these model organisms run out of protein regurgitating marshmallow-like masses that are rapidly recycled back into health and normal cells. This is a stunting mechanism that has not been fully understood he said. Adhesion molecules only show up for a short time on the appearance of high oxygen and are thus not well understood. It is of great clinical importance for assessing adherence to such hard-earned therapy. MRI scans revealed a brain appearance similar to the appearance of young monkeys with overweight or young adult individuals who also required a typical KD diet. Traits such as diabetes body weight height and blood triglycerides are commonly found in models for obesity; they demanded validation in a disease setting he said. This difference was striking to us as well as the scientists atGDSP a decade ago who analyzed the correlation between adhesion molecules and neurodevelopment and found no significant correlation. Now we find a molecular link between adhesion molecules and the neuroplasmic networks.