German scientists have managed to make paralyzed mice, due to injuries to their spine, walk again, regaining the regeneration of damaged nerves by using a specially designed protein, which is produced guided in the brain of animals by inserting the appropriate gene information.
Spinal injuries, usually due to car accidents or sports, often leave people paralyzed, as the transmission of nerve signals between muscles and the brain is interrupted.
A new treatment by scientists at Boehum Ruhr University, published in the journal Nature Communications, has been able to regenerate paralyzed rodent nerve cells thanks to a protein.
“With a relatively small amount of intervention, we are activating a very large number of nerves to regenerate, and eventually this is why mice can walk again,” lead researcher Dietmar Fischer told Reuters.
Completely paraplegic mice began to walk again only two to three weeks after the one-time experimental treatment, which involves the introduction of genetic instructions into the brain (using a genetically modified virus as a vehicle) to produce a cytokine protein (super -interleukin-6) and send it to the motor neurons.
This protein can help regenerate neurons.
The advantage of the method is that it allows the cells to produce their own hyper-interleukin-6, which is then distributed to more distant parts of the central nervous system.
Researchers are already investigating whether the treatment could be improved and will continue experiments on larger animals, such as pigs, dogs or monkeys, before testing its safety and effectiveness in humans, which will certainly take many years, according to Dr. Fisher.
Anastasia Andreadaki, a Greek scientist, also participated in the research team.