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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
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sources on the
web. New Variations On Old Drugs Promote Nerve
[Image]Check out our
awards and April 2, 1997
[Image]Learn more Researchers at Johns Hopkins and Guilford
about Pharmaceuticals Inc., have successfully modified a
ScienceDailygroup of established drugs to stimulate nerve
without suppressing the immune system.
Science News The researchers say the development is a critical
[Image]Scan toward using the new compounds as treatments for a
today's range of neurodegenerative diseases like
news disease or multiple sclerosis, or brain injuries
summaries. stroke or head trauma.
week's "We showed that these compounds can cause recovery
headlines. functions and behaviors previously lost to nerve
in lab animals," says Solomon Snyder, M.D.,
[Image]View the director of neuroscience and principal author on
latest paper, which appears in this month's Nature
topic. "We believe this is the first demonstration
[Image]Search our orally administered treatment of a significant
archives by regenerative effect on nerve cells without
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
immunosuppressive drugs bind to in the body, they
Cool Sites a group of proteins called immunophilins.
descriptions"These are proteins frequently used by the cell
of new what we call signal transduction," explains
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."
science Hopkins scientists discovered that brain cells
media. to 50 times more immunophilins than immune cells
[Image]See our that immunophilins in the brain are linked to a
collection oof important nerve cell functions, including the
sites by ability to regenerate lost branches of the cell
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.
at Hopkins and Guilford, using new techniques from
Contributing molecular biology and a field called combinatorial
[Image]Register chemistry, attached chemical structures to the
your that prevented them from binding to calcineurin
institution not affect their ability to attach to
for free. [Image]
[Image]Post your Scientists at Hopkins and Guilford put the new
news the test alongside the original immunosuppressive
releases drugs, first in studies of chicken nerve cells in
here. lab, and later in rats whose sciatic nerve had
crushed. There was no significant difference in
[Image]Change your drugs' ability to stimulate growth of new nerve
contributor branches and cause regeneration of lost branches.
[Image]Review your "The new drugs were even able to regenerate the
readership protective myelin sheath surrounding the branch,
stats. is critical to recovery of function," says Snyder.
Advertising Representatives from Guilford hope to begin
(under trials of some of the new drugs in a year or more.
construction) Guilford is a private biopharmaceutical company
free scienceUnder an agreement between Johns Hopkins
link Guilford, Snyder and Ted Dawson, M.D., Ph.D.,
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
get ad Guilford, with Snyder and Dawson having an
credits. the University share under University policy.
[Image]Be a sponsorserves on the Board of Directors and the
and reach Advisory Board of Guilford, is a consultant to the
thousands. company, and owns additional equity in Guilford.
arrangement is being managed by the Johns Hopkins
[Image]Change your University in accordance with its conflict of
[Image]Review your Other authors on the Nature Medicine paper were
advertising Steiner, Maureen Connolly, Greg Hamilton and
results. Valentine, of Guilford; and, Ted Dawson, and Lynda
Hester of Hopkins. The studies were funded by
and the National Institutes of Health.
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