Scientists regenerate severed axons in mice

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

November 21, 2022 -- Researchers out of Hong Kong have regenerated severed axons by deleting a specific gene and combining it with an interferon, which has implications for central nervous system (CNS) damage.

When the CNS is damaged there is typically a permanent loss of sensory and motor function because the severed axons are unable to regenerate. However, scientists from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology deleted a phosphatase-coding gene, PTPN2, and that prompted axon regrowth in mice (Neuron, November 11, 2022).

In addition, when adding the type II interferon IFNγ, the process was accelerated and the number of regenerated axons increased. The scientists found deleting PTPN2 sustains the IFNγ-STAT1 activity in retinal ganglion cells to promote axon regeneration after injury. IFNγ is in the peripheral nervous system and upregulates cGAS expression in Schwann cells and infiltrates blood cells to produce cGAMP. This stimulates spontaneous axon regeneration as an immunotransmitter.

In essence, peripheral nervous system axons can direct the environmental innate immune response for self-repair and that mechanism can be used in the CNS, the researchers said.

Researchers capture images of antibody attacking neuron receptor
U.S. and German researchers have captured the first images of an antibody attacking a nerve cell surface receptor using cryo-electron microscopy, a technique...
What is the investment community excited about in 2022?
Breaking down the sector based on types of investment, 2022 is shaping up to be an exciting year for biotech investors, according to Gabriel Cavazos,...
Researchers identify chronic stress gene target in brain
By studying how genes affect receptors in the brain under stress, researchers have discovered new molecular mechanisms behind the function of corticosterone,...
Cellular programming spurs next-generation cell therapies
Cellular reprogramming of ex vivo cells may offer improvements on first-generation adoptive cell therapies, which have experienced limited clinical success...
New gene therapy could be effective in treating complex polygenic conditions
Scientists are applying gene therapy approaches in a new way by simultaneously administering a combination of cargos to treat complex polygenic neurodegenerative...

Copyright © 2022

Science Advisory Board on LinkedIn
Science Advisory Board on Facebook
Science Advisory Board on Twitter