© Marco Gröbner

Publications 2013: Part one

Zur Übersicht

Close collaboration between the scientists and the discussion of their results are essential for optimal research progress. To share their results, scientists publish their work in special interest journals. Please find below the latest publications of research projects that are funded by Wings for Life.

Activation of type-2 cannabinoid receptor inhibits neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory actions of glucocorticoid receptor α: one is better than two

Dr. Maria Teresa Viscomi, Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, January 2013

The molecules Endocannabinoids and glucocorticoids have both strong neuroprotective effects. Co-administration of both molecules should have resulted in an even higher effect but unfortunately produced the complete opposite outcome: a complete suppression of their neuroprotective effects. This study nevertheless highlighted a new therapeutic target for chronic inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases.

Modulation of spinal neuronal excitability by spinal direct currents after spinal cord injury

Dr. Marc Bolliger, Clinical Neurophysiology, February 2013

The team of Dr. Bollinger developed a new, non-invasive approach, which allows a direct stimulation of the spinal cord circuits. The spinal circuits are important in the execution of normal movements and reflexes (involuntary and nearly instantaneous movements that will correct a wrong gait). This new stimulation will help preventing the appearance of abnormal movements and reflexes (for example spasms) below the level of the injury and allow a better quality of life for the individuals.

Anatomical plasticity of adult brain is titrated by Nogo Receptor 1

Dr. Stephen M. Strittmatter, Neuron, March 2013

Everyday experience (e.G. walking) induces a rearrangement of the brain connectivity (plasticity) in young individual. This plasticitiy is suppressed in adulthood. Mice lacking the Nogo Receptor 1 molecule are able to show such rearrangement on later times. The Nogo Receptor 1 is therefore responsible for blocking the plasticity in the adult brain and could offer an interesting target in combination with post-injury rehabilitation.

Bone morphogenetic proteins prevent bone marrow stromal cell-mediated oligodendroglial differentiation of transplanted adult neural progenitor cells in the injured spinal cord

Dr. Beatrice Sandner, Stem Cell Research, May 2013

Demyelination contributes to the lack of functional recovery after spinal cord injury. The transplantation of adult neural progenitor cells (NPCs) might be a promising strategy to induce remyelination after injury, but unfortunately failed so far. The group of Dr. Sandner tested whether co-transplantation with bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) would enhance the recovery. Regrettably such co-transplantation failed and highlighted the fact that in order to achieve remyelination using a combination of neural progenitor cells and bone marrow stromal cells would require a blocking of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) effect.

Current practice of Methylprednisolone administration for acute spinal cord injury in Germany

Dr. Jan M. Schwab, Spine, May 2013

This synthetic corticosteroid drug “Methylprednisolone” has indeed numerous side effects and failed in showing a real functional benefit in spinal cord injury patients. In the United States, a reanalysis of the available data resulted in the reduction of methylprednisolone treatment of acute spinal cord injury. The clinical analysis realized by Dr. Schwab highlighted the fact that in Germany 55% of the institutions still use methylprednisolone, proving that there is an urgent need to further educate those centers.