New Variations On Old Drugs Promote Nerve Regeneration

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Sun Jul 27 21:40:51 EST 1997


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Welcome!            Posted 4/2/97
 [Image]Go to our home
        page to see Institution: Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
        what's new. Contact: Beth Palevich, Public Information Officer
                    E-mail: bpalevic at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu
 [Image]Visit our   Phone: (410)955-4288
        sources on the
        web.        New Variations On Old Drugs Promote Nerve
Regeneratio=
n
 [Image]Check out our
        awards and  April 2, 1997
        reviews.
 [Image]Learn more  Researchers at Johns Hopkins and Guilford
        about       Pharmaceuticals Inc., have successfully modified a
        ScienceDailygroup of established drugs to stimulate nerve
growth
                    without suppressing the immune system.

Science News        The researchers say the development is a critical
ste=
p
 [Image]Scan        toward using the new compounds as treatments for a
wi=
de
        today's     range of neurodegenerative diseases like
Parkinson's
        news        disease or multiple sclerosis, or brain injuries
from
        summaries.  stroke or head trauma.
 [Image]Browse this
        week's      "We showed that these compounds can cause recovery
of
        headlines.  functions and behaviors previously lost to nerve
dama=
ge
                    in lab animals," says Solomon Snyder, M.D.,
Hopkins
 [Image]View the    director of neuroscience and principal author on
the
        latest      paper, which appears in this month's Nature
Medicine.
        stories by
        topic.      "We believe this is the first demonstration
through a=
n
 [Image]Search our  orally administered treatment of a significant
        archives by regenerative effect on nerve cells without
suppressio=
n
        keyword.    of the immune system."
 [Image]Subscribe   Immunosuppressive drugs like cyclosporin A and
        to receive  rapamycin were originally developed to prevent a
        free e-mail patient's immune system from rejecting an organ
        updates.    transplant. When researchers looked for the
compounds
                    immunosuppressive drugs bind to in the body, they
fou=
nd
Cool Sites          a group of proteins called immunophilins.
 [Image]Read
        descriptions"These are proteins frequently used by the cell
for
        of new      what we call signal transduction," explains
Snyder.
        featured    "They bind to something outside the cell, and as a
        sites.      result of that binding cause changes inside the
                    cell--make it less likely that an immune cell will
 [Image]Explore otheproliferate, for example."
        online
        science     Hopkins scientists discovered that brain cells
have 1=
0
        media.      to 50 times more immunophilins than immune cells
and
 [Image]See our     that immunophilins in the brain are linked to a
varie=
ty
        collection oof important nerve cell functions, including the
        sites by    ability to regenerate lost branches of the cell
and
        topic.      generate new branches.
 [Image]Submit a cool
        site        Immunosuppressive drugs bind to immunophilins;
        suggestion. together, the two interact with a protein called
                    calcineurin to suppress the immune system.
Researcher=
s
                    at Hopkins and Guilford, using new techniques from
Contributing        molecular biology and a field called combinatorial
 [Image]Register    chemistry, attached chemical structures to the
drugs
        your        that prevented them from binding to calcineurin
but d=
id
        institution not affect their ability to attach to
immunophilins.
        for free.  [Image]
 [Image]Post your   Scientists at Hopkins and Guilford put the new
drugs =
to
        news        the test alongside the original immunosuppressive
        releases    drugs, first in studies of chicken nerve cells in
the
        here.       lab, and later in rats whose sciatic nerve had
been
                    crushed. There was no significant difference in
the n=
ew
 [Image]Change your drugs' ability to stimulate growth of new nerve
cell
        contributor branches and cause regeneration of lost branches.
        profile.
 [Image]Review your "The new drugs were even able to regenerate the
        readership  protective myelin sheath surrounding the branch,
whic=
h
        stats.      is critical to recovery of function," says Snyder.

Advertising         Representatives from Guilford hope to begin
clinical
(under              trials of some of the new drugs in a year or more.
construction)       Guilford is a private biopharmaceutical company
based
                    in Baltimore.
 [Image]Join our
        free scienceUnder an agreement between Johns Hopkins
University a=
nd
        link        Guilford, Snyder and Ted Dawson, M.D., Ph.D.,
another
        network.    Hopkins author on the Nature Medicine paper, are
 [Image]Support our entitled to a share of royalties received by the
        network and University from Guilford. The University owns
stock i=
n
        get ad      Guilford, with Snyder and Dawson having an
interest i=
n
        credits.    the University share under University policy.
Snyder
 [Image]Be a sponsorserves on the Board of Directors and the
Scientific
        and reach   Advisory Board of Guilford, is a consultant to the
        thousands.  company, and owns additional equity in Guilford.
This
                    arrangement is being managed by the Johns Hopkins
 [Image]Change your University in accordance with its conflict of
interes=
t
        advertiser  policies.
        profile.
 [Image]Review your Other authors on the Nature Medicine paper were
Josep=
h
        advertising Steiner, Maureen Connolly, Greg Hamilton and
Heather
        results.    Valentine, of Guilford; and, Ted Dawson, and Lynda
                    Hester of Hopkins. The studies were funded by
Guilfor=
d
                    and the National Institutes of Health.

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