Cell treatment restores motor skills in paraplegic mice | Digital Trends Spanish
A team of German scientists from the Ruhr University Bochum developed a cellular treatment with which they managed to restore motor skills in a paraplegic mouse.
The therapy consists of the implantation of a designer protein that restores nerve fibers (axons) of neurons damaged by an injury that affects motor capacity.
The scientists used genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of a peptide that stimulates cell regeneration. The experts called this protein hyper-interleukin-6 (hyper interleukin-6 in English).
“It is an artificial cytokine, this means that it was produced using genetic engineering,” said Dietmar Fischer, one of the authors of the therapy and whose details were published in the magazine Nature Communications.
In the article, the experts explain that they injected the protein into a mouse with a recent spinal cord injury that caused paralysis of its hind legs.
After applying the treatment, they noticed that the cells in the area where the substance was injected began to regenerate nerve fibers. In addition, they saw that the regeneration spread to other cells responsible for actions such as walking.
“The genetic treatment of a few nerve cell counts stimulated the axonal regeneration of several more. Ultimately, this allowed a paralyzed animal that received the treatment to start walking after two to three weeks, ”Fischer added.
“This generated a great surprise to us, since it had never before been registered in a picture of total paraplegia.”
In a second stage of the research, the scientists will analyze whether the treatment also generates favorable effects in rodents with longer-lived paralysis. They hope that the advance they developed can be used in the future in human therapies.