About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Molecular Therapy That Restores Myelin may Help Treat Autoimmune Diseases

by Anjali Aryamvally on February 18, 2018 at 7:07 PM
Font : A-A+

Molecular Therapy That Restores Myelin may Help Treat Autoimmune Diseases

An experimental molecular therapy restores insulation on peripheral nerves in mice, shows study by a research team at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. The therapy was found to improve limb function, and resulted in less observable discomfort. The study is published in Nature Medicine.

When the body attacks its own healthy tissues in an autoimmune disease, peripheral nerve damage handicaps people and causes persistent neuropathic pain when insulation on healing nerves doesn't fully regenerate. This layer of insulation on nerve cells is called the myelin sheath. Unfortunately, there are no effective ways to treat the condition.

Advertisement


To identify possible therapies, the international team of investigators performed small-molecule epigenetic screening for compounds that inhibit enzymes involved in epigenetic changes on chromosomes. These changes alter how gene activity in cells is regulated. The authors identified small molecular inhibitors already used to treat certain cancers and tested them in experimental treatments on mice with injured sciatic nerves.

The molecular compounds target the enzyme HDAC3 (histone deacetylase 3). Study data show that HDAC3 inhibits regenerating insulation on recovering peripheral nerves.
Advertisement

"Remarkably, temporary inhibition of HDAC3 robustly accelerated the formation of myelin that helps insulate peripheral nerves," says the study's principal investigator Q. Richard Lu, PhD, director of the Cincinnati Children's Brain Tumor Center. "This promoted functional recovery in the animals after peripheral nerve injury."

Restoring Signal Relays

The peripheral nervous system relays signals from the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system) to limbs and organs. HDAC3 is an enzyme found in humans and mice. Its usual job in peripheral nerve formation is to act as a molecular brake on the production of the myelin coating by Schwann cells.

After peripheral nerve injury, HDAC3 initiates epigenetic changes to chromosomes and gene regulation that excessively restrict myelin regeneration. This results in nerve insulation that is too thin or not totally formed, blocking or slowing signals between the spinal cord, extremities and organs.

Timing is Crucial

Researchers carefully timed their targeted treatments when inhibiting HDAC3, treating the mouse models of nerve injury only during a critical phase of nerve regeneration. This resulted in the right amount of re-myelination to restore normal function in the animals.

Getting the timing right on transient treatment is critical, Lu says. Researchers show that blocking HDAC3 for too long allows myelin to overgrow and cause excessively thick insulation. This also can lead to functional problems in extremities, according to study data.

From Science to Medicine

Translating data in the current study to clinical application in human patients will require extensive additional research, Lu says. Now that the prospective therapy has been successfully tested in mice, researchers are exploring additional research in animal models that more closely mimic the repair of injured peripheral nerves in people. This includes looking specifically at some demyelinating diseases that affect the central nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis.

Lu said this work will allow scientists to replicate and verify their findings in mice and other laboratory models. They also will be able to test possible dosing levels. If results are positive, Lu said researchers could pursue possible Phase I clinical trials in patients having deficient myelin in their peripheral and central nervous systems.



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Turmeric: Magic Ingredient to Keep you Healthy in Winter
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Chemotherapy Chemotherapy Drugs Reiki and Pranic Healing Myasthenia Gravis Vitiligo Autoimmune Disorders Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA) Microscopic Polyangiitis Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease Inflammation 

Recommended Reading
A Supplement for Regeneration of Myelin Sheath in Multiple Sclerosis Patients
Multiple sclerosis patients continually lose the insulating myelin sheath that wraps around neurons ...
Fat Metabolism Inhibits Regeneration in Central Nervous System
Cholesterol crystals formed from myelin sheaths are not completely destroyed by phagocytes that ......
Blood Clotting Factor in the Brain Halts Myelin Repair
Blood clotting factor stops stem cells in the brain from producing myelin, and disrupts myelin ......
Why Some Patients With Multiple Sclerosis Develop Seizures?
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that affects nearly 2.3 .....
Autoimmune Disorders
Autoimmune disorders occur when the immune system fails to recognize the body as ‘self’ and attacks ...
Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease
Autoimmune inner ear disease is a condition that causes progressive deterioration of hearing and hea...
Chemotherapy
‘Chemo’ means medicine or ‘drug’; ‘therapy’ means ‘treatment’. Chemotherapy refers to the use of cy...
Chemotherapy Drugs
Chemotherapy drugs perform like ‘magic bullets’ to destroy cancer cells in the body....
Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA)
Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA) is a type of vasculitis that usually affects the upper airway...
Inflammation
Inflammation is the response of living tissue to injury due to a variety of causes that call upon ho...
Microscopic Polyangiitis
Microscopic polyangitis, infection of small blood vessels, presents with general symptoms of fever, ...
Myasthenia Gravis
Myasthenia gravis is the commonest disorder of neuromuscular transmission. Autoimmune myasthenia gra...
Vitiligo
Vitiligo is a skin disease characterized by patches of unpigmented skin. Vitiligo is usually slowly ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use