Control of inflammation post injury may be critical to successful tissue regeneration

30 August 2012
Dr Alice Pebay heads the Neurogeneration Unit at CERA and is a member of Stem Cells Australia Researchers at the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) and the University of Melbourne have shown that a new antibody can reverse the damage caused by trauma to the central nervous system.

Alice Pebay and her colleagues used two model systems of spinal cord injury to show that controlling the action of the signalling molecule lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) can markedly alter the body's response to traumatic injury.

In zebrafish, a species that has a remarkable capacity to regenerate neurons and recover function after damage to the spinal cord, LPA administration interfered with this repair process.  

In mice, little repair of spinal injury occurs, but the antibody against LPA blocked the death of neurons.  

Control of the inflammatory process post injury may be critical to successful tissue regeneration.  

This translational research, which involved a collaboration between the O'Brien Institute, the Australian Institute of Regenerative Medicine, and LPath Ltd, a California Biotechnology Company, provides a new approach to modulating inflammation which may offer synergies with cell therapies.

More information:
Goldshmit et al. (2012) Blockage of Lysophosphatidic Acid Signaling Improves Spinal Cord Injury Outcomes Am J Pathol 181(3):979-92 [Subscription maybe required]

New antibody offers hope for spinal cord injury patients [CERA - News & Events] 29 August 2012

Media coverage:
Lowly fat molecule offers hope in spinal cord injury The Age 29 August 2012