Proteins involved in inflammatory responses could help with brain regeneration after a stroke, according to research published in the 23 February 2006 issue of EMBO Journal.
Complement proteins participate in the inflammatory response. It has been suggested that under abnormal circumstances i.e. after a stroke, their involvement in inflammation could contribute to tissue damage in the brain. But this new research reveals that - surprisingly - the complement proteins can also play a beneficial role.
Marcela Pekna and colleagues show for the first time that neural stem cells and neural precursor cells express receptors for complement proteins and that the complement system positively regulates the maturation of neural cells in adult mice both under normal circumstances and during brain regeneration after a stroke.
A better understanding of the dual role of the complement system in stroke, and possibly other CNS pathologies, may help us to design more effective therapeutic strategies by developing complement inhibitory agents that neutralize the adverse aspects of complement activation while enhancing those that are neuroprotective and facilitate repair.
Dr. Marcela Pekna (Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University, Sweden)
Dr. Isabel Arnold, The EMBO Journal
Abstract available online.
(C) EMBO Journal press release.
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