Inducing Nerve, Blood Vessel Regrowth

Scientists are working on a variety of approches to stimulating specific tissue regrowth. Here, EurekAlert! brings news of another possible strategy: "The therapy involves netrins, a family of proteins that promotes nerve development. ... netrins not only accelerated blood vessel growth in ischemic mice (those with constricted blood flow) but they also restored blood vessel and nerve growth in diabetic mice. ... In the mice whose blood circulation was decreased by peripheral vascular disease, the researchers found netrins and [vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) delivered by gene therapy] promoted blood vessel growth equally well. But in the diabetic mice, netrins proved markedly better at promoting blood vessel and nerve growth than VEGF ... Gene therapy requires expertise that is available in only a few medical centers. The hope is that netrins could be more effective and may not have to be delivered as a gene therapy, making it available to a much larger group of patients."



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