Method for Treating Spinal Cord Injury and Paralysis
Tech ID: 22677 / UC Case 2011-227-0
Unlike most other tissues in the human body, which have the ability to heal themselves after injury, damaged axons in the spinal cord cannot heal and recover their function by regenerating or synapsing with other neurons. Despite recent successes in models of partial spinal cord injury (SCI), there is great unmet need in solutions that lead to axonal regeneration and functional recovery after complete spinal cord transection.
UCSD researchers have discovered that neural stem cells that were grafted into the site of spinal cord injury will differentiate into neurons with long-extending axons that can synapse with host cells, and result in functional recovery in an animal model.
In addition, UCSD investigators have found that adding a novel mixture of cAMP (cyclic AMP) and BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) to stem cell grafts dramatically improves neuron survival and functional recovery. This allows early stage neurons to repair lesions in the adult central nervous system (CNS) by surviving, extending their axons and integrating with adult neurons through synapse formation.
Despite the inability of adult CNS to regenerate and the inhibitory environment in the CNS, this method enhances the survival of stem cells that have been grafted into the nervous system, improves functional recovery and alleviates neurological deficits.
State Of Development
The neuronal regeneration and functional recovery by the injected neural stem cells have been demonstrated in animal models. In addition, in vivo animal models of SCI show that in rat embryonic neural grafts, the novel mixture dramatically improves graft survival, enhances anatomical repair of the nervous system and improves functional outcomes.
Intellectual Property InfoPatent rights are available for licensing.
- Lu P, Wang Y, Graham L, McHale K, Gao M, Wu D, Brock J, Blesch A, Rosenzweig ES, Havton LA, Zheng B, Conner JM, Marsala M, Tuszynski MH. Cell. 2012 Sep 14;150(6):1264-73. - 09/14/2012
- UCSD finds possible treatment for paralysis - 09/12/2012
- Motor axonal regeneration after partial and complete spinal cord transection. Lu P, Blesch A, Graham L, Wang Y, Samara R, Banos K, Haringer V, Havton L, Weishaupt N, Bennett D, Fouad K, Tuszynski MH. J Neurosci. 2012 Jun 13;32(24):8208-18. - 06/13/2012
Spinal cord injury, cAMP, BDNF, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, stem cells